Tuesday, March 11, 2014

European support for climate change action 'not dented by financial crash'

Fiona Harvey in the Guardian (UK): The financial crisis and recession across Europe have not put people off fighting climate change, a new poll for the European Commission has shown. It found the number of people supporting a “green economy” has risen in the past three years. At least two thirds of people in all EU member states said that transforming the economy on to a green footing, by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and investing in green technologies, would boost the economy and reduce unemployment.

Even in those member states that have suffered the worst effects of the financial crisis and recession, a large majority are of the opinion that energy efficiency and moves to a greener economy could be beneficial. Nearly nine in ten over respondents in Greece, Spain and Portugal said they believed that fighting climate change and using energy more efficiently would boost the economy and jobs.

Across the EU, about seven in ten people think that reducing the EU’s fossil fuel imports – that run to more than half a billion euros a year – would be a good idea. The results came in a survey conducted by Eurobarometer, the pan-EU polling service, and published on Monday.

Jose Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Commission, said that the imperatives of cutting greenhouse gas emissions and improving the economy need not be mutually exclusive. “Cost-effective climate action is indeed good economics. I am very encouraged that European citizens recognise that too. This poll sends a strong signal to EU leaders to take bold climate action for a sustainable economic recovery.”

Connie Hedegaard, the EU’s climate chief, said: “The poll confirms a clear majority of Europeans expect their politicians to tackle the climate challenge now. [They] understand that climate chnge did not go away while their governments were busy handling the economic crisis. It is not either growth and competitiveness or the climate: it is both, it has to be both.”...

Seen in Munich's Viktualienmarkt, shot by BeAr, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license 

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