>@ Cristian Negroni /Getty Images
© Cristian Negroni /Getty Images

The first part of the 2021-2022 EIB Climate Survey explores people’s views on climate change in a rapidly changing world. The results from this release focus on citizens’ perceptions of climate change and the actions they expect their country to take to combat it. 

  • 91% say they want to replace short-distance flights by fast, low-polluting trains in collaboration with neighbouring countries
  • 88% of Portuguese people think that climate change and its consequences are the biggest challenge for humanity in the 21st century
  • 85% are in favour of stricter government measures that impose changes on people’s behaviour
  • 77% feel that climate change has an impact on their everyday lives
  • 77% would welcome a tax on products and services that contribute most to global warming

These are some of the results from the first release of the 2021-2022 Climate Survey published on 27 October by the European Investment Bank (EIB). The EIB is the lending arm of the European Union and the world’s largest multilateral lender for climate action projects.

Perception of the climate crisis: The country’s fight against climate change

The vast majority of the Portuguese population (77%) feel that climate change has an impact on their everyday lives. This is a concern shared by both the younger (75%) and older generations (75%).

A great majority (85%) of Portuguese respondents favour stricter government measures – similar to the ones implemented to combat the COVID-19 crisis – that would impose changes on people’s behaviour (15 points above the EU average of 70%).

Meanwhile, only 5% of Portuguese people still believe that global warming is not due to human activities.

The energy debate

When asked about the source of energy their country should rely on to fight global warming, the majority of Portuguese people favour renewable energies (83%, 20 points above the EU average of 63%) to address the climate emergency. Portuguese people are overall less supportive of nuclear energy than other Europeans (3% vs. 12%).

Finally, Portuguese people are less likely to think that their country should rely on energy savings than other Europeans (9% vs. 17%). Saving energy is ranked equally with an increased role for natural gas (9%).

Most popular solutions to fight climate change among Portuguese people

The vast majority of Portuguese people (77%) would support – and to a greater extent than Europeans in general (69%) – the introduction of a tax on products and services that contribute most to global warming. Portuguese respondents are also in favour of a 5-year minimum warranty on any electric or electronic product (95%) and replacing short-distance flights with fast, low-emission trains (91%). They also favour softer measures like strengthening education and increasing youth awareness of sustainable consumption (96%).

EIB Vice-President Ricardo Mourinho Félix: “91% of Portuguese respondents say they want to replace short-distance flights by fast trains. The expansion of the Trans-European Transport and Energy Networks (TENs) remains one of our key objectives as they increase the potential to generate trade, foster economic growth, boost competitiveness while reducing pollution. That is why, for example, we financed high-speed trains connecting Portugal and Spain, facilitating interoperable and efficient freight connections to and from the south of Portugal. We must crowd in resources from the private sector and invest in new disruptive technologies to achieve the climate goals we have set. It’s now or never - this is the critical decade to act.”

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Download the Excel spreadsheet with the raw data for all 30 countries surveyed here. Please click here to access the EIB website that presents key findings of the EIB Climate Survey IV. 

About the EIB Climate Survey

The European Investment Bank has launched the fourth edition of the EIB Climate Survey, a thorough assessment of how people feel about climate change. Conducted in partnership with market research firm BVA, the fourth edition of the EIB Climate Survey aims to inform the broader debate on attitudes and expectations in terms of climate action. More than 30 000 respondents participated in the survey between 26 August and 22 September 2021, with a representative panel for each of the 30 countries polled.

About the European Investment Bank

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union and is owned by the EU Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals both in Europe and beyond. The European Investment Bank is active in around 160 countries and is one of the world’s largest multilateral lenders for climate action projects. The EIB Group has recently adopted its Climate Bank Roadmap to deliver on its ambitious agenda to support €1 trillion of climate action and environmental sustainability investments in the decade to 2030 and to deliver more than 50% of EIB finance for climate action and environmental sustainability by 2025. As part of the Roadmap, all new EIB Group operations have also been aligned with the goals and principles of the Paris Agreement since the start of 2021.

About BVA

BVA is an opinion research and consulting firm recognised as one of the most innovative market research firms in its sector. Specialised in behavioural marketing, BVA combines data science and social science to make data inspiring and bring it to life. BVA is also a member of the Worldwide Independent Network of Market Research (WIN), a global network of some of the world’s leading market research and survey players, with over 40 members.