With the EU elections due to take place next month, voters in Europe are deciding which political parties to vote for and which issues to prioritise.
And a recent survey shows that the environment is at the top of the agenda for many voters.
The survey, which was carried out by Ipsos MORI found that 77% of potential voters surveyed said that taking action on climate change was of high importance when choosing who to vote for.
The study used online samples of voters between 18 and 65 in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, and Spain.
The environment was a high priority in most countries for various reasons.
For example, voters in Poland, Belgium, and Spain said that the impact of electricity and gas prices was the most important factor. The biggest issue identified in Austria, Italy, France, and Slovakia was sustainable food production.
Some of the other concerns that were raised by respondents were the ability to access solar energy and wind power, and the use of pesticides in farming.
The results of the survey follows the recent protests in Europe – held by young people- calling for governments in the EU to take a tougher stance on environmental issues and climate change.
The EU is currently preparing for the UN climate summit later in the year. However, the European Science Advisory Council (EASAC) recently warned that the EU may struggle to meet its target, as set out in the Paris Agreement, to limit temperature increases to below 2 degrees.
In a statement, Laurence Tubiana, the CEO of the European Climate Foundation, which commissioned the survey noted: “Climate action is not a partisan issue and it is clear that it has now become a key election issue for voters. All political parties should make climate action a priority or they risk completely missing the point.”
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