New polling: Europeans show support for climate and energy targets
- 11 Jan 2013, 15:00
- Ros Donald
The European Commission has reported a rise in support for its
2020 targets, including those aimed at cutting greenhouse gas
emissions and increase the supply of renewable energy.
74 per cent of respondents to the EU's
Autumn Eurobarometer survey of public attitudes - out last
month - said it was important for the EU to create an economy that
"uses less natural resources and emits less greenhouse gas", a one
per cent increase since the survey was last taken in Spring
The survey asks citizens of EU member states what they think of
the commission's 2020 targets, which focus on five areas:
Employment, research and development,
energy and climate change, education and fighting
According to the results, those surveyed ranked limiting
greenhouse gases as the third most important target, behind
modernising the labour market and improving social inclusion.
Asked which targets they thought were too ambitious and which were
"about right" in terms of ambition, respondents ranked improving
energy efficiency as the most credible of the targets they were
asked about in all five areas, alongside the aim that
three-quarters of men and women between 20 and 64 years old should
have a job. Fifty-nine per cent of respondents these are the most
credible targets of the EU's 2020 package.
Meanwhile, 57 per cent of the respondents believe increasing the
share of renewable energy in the EU by 20 per cent by 2020 is
credible - putting it in third place. And 55 per cent said it's
credible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20 per cent
by 2020 compared to 1990 levels.
New UK statistics
Although there's no country-specific data for the EU targets,
polling by the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change
(DECC) in December last year indicates the majority of people
are concerned about climate change and want to increase the amount
of renewables in the UK energy mix.
According to DECC's public attitudes tracking survey,
65 per cent of those surveyed said they were concerned or very
concerned about climate change, for example. On renewable energy,
DECC says 79 per cent of people who were asked support using
renewable sources of energy to provide electricity, fuel and heat
to the UK.
Survey respondents also don't seem too perturbed by the idea - at
least in principle - of hosting renewables developments. Asked
whether they would be happy to have a large scale renewable
development in their area, 55 per cent agreed versus 19 per cent
Unsurprisingly, there's strong support for moves to ensure
communities living near these developments benefit directly from
hosing them - 78 per cent agreed with that statement. The
government still hasn't enacted plans to get renewables companies
to offer specific benefits to host communities near renewables
developments. If it does, it'll be interesting to see whether
support for renewables changes as a result.