Tackling climate change is high on the EU’s agenda. With last year being ranked the hottest on record despite Covid-19 lockdowns, it’s something many citizens are concerned about.
The European Commission is currently drafting new policies to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and reduce air pollution, as set out in the Paris Agreement.
Now, in a newly published survey from the European Investment Bank, EU nationals have shown that they are willing to fly less in order to achieve this goal.
In the survey, which included over 27,000 citizens from 27 EU countries, a massive 74% of respondents said they plan to take fewer flights, even after the current restrictions are lifted.
The reason given was environmental, with 22% of people saying they would avoid flying altogether in the future because of concerns about climate change and air pollution.
Additionally, 43% of respondents in the EU said they would avoid flying “all the time”, 31% said they would avoid it some of the time, and 26% said they don’t plan to make any changes to their travel in the near future.
When asked which of the following would be the easiest for them to give up, 40% of Europeans chose flying over meat, clothes, a car, or video-streaming services.
This figure was highest in Croatia at 51% and closely followed by Slovakia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Poland.
The fewest respondents said they would choose to give up their car if given a choice between various options. Only 11% said their choice would be their car, and over 70% of Europeans say they would already choose to take a train for trips that are under five hours.
In many areas, especially rural ones, people said that not having a car would be the most difficult to go without. And, in light of the pandemic, many people feel that public transport is no longer an option as it brings health and safety anxieties.
Going forward, most citizens are hopeful that human behavior can reduce the effects of climate change. Plus, the EU is currently investing in projects to help with the green transition.
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