>@ 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. 

  • 79% of Danish people think that climate change and its consequences are the biggest challenge for humanity in the 21st century
  • This is higher than any other EU country
  • 62% are in favour of stricter government measures that impose changes on people’s behaviour (three points higher than last year)
  • 55% believe that they are more concerned about the climate emergency than their government
  • 55% feel that climate change has an impact on their everyday lives
  • 47% think the country will fail in drastically reducing its carbon emissions by 2050, as pledged in the Paris Agreement
  • 73% would welcome a tax on products and services that contribute most to global warming
  • 83% say they want to replace short-distance flights by fast, low-polluting trains in collaboration with neighbouring countries

79% of Danish people think that climate change and its consequences are the biggest challenge for humanity in the 21st century. This figure is greater than 74% in all sub-groups divided by age and political leanings within the Danish population. Meanwhile, 55% of Danish people feel that climate change has an impact on their everyday lives (10 points higher than last year but below the European average of 77%).

However, this apparent consensus in Denmark hides significant gaps between different groups of the Danish population. Diverse levels of concern and expectations on the topic of the climate can be seen among younger and older citizens, as well as among men and women and across different socioeconomic categories.

For example: 84% of 15-29 year-old respondents say that climate change is the biggest challenge for humanity in the 21st century, while this figures drops 10 points (74%) for respondents older than 65.

These are some of the results from the first release of the 2021-2022 Climate Survey published on October 27 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

A small majority of Danish people (55%) feel that climate change has an impact on their everyday lives. While this is particularly marked among 15-29 year-olds (68%), this figure drops 31 points (37%) for people older than 64. Meanwhile, 57% of 30-64 year-old respondents agree with this statement. 70% of higher-income earners and 55% of lower-income earners say they feel that climate change has an impact on their everyday lives.

55% of the population believe that they are more concerned about the climate emergency than their government is. As a consequence, they are fairly sceptical regarding their country’s capability to undergo an ambitious green transition. A small majority (53%) thinks that Denmark will succeed in drastically reducing its carbon emissions by 2050, as pledged in the Paris Agreement. 47% think that Denmark will fail to meet its reduced carbon emission targets. The generational gap here is particularly telling, with a 28-point difference between people younger than 30 (65% of them believe Denmark will succeed) and people older than 64 (37%). 63% of people over 64 believe Denmark will actually fail to meet the 2050 deadline.

As a consequence, almost two-thirds (62%) of Danish people are in favour of stricter government measures — similar to the ones implemented to combat the COVID-19 crisis — that would impose changes on people’s behaviour (three points higher than last year’s 59%).

Meanwhile, only 11% of Danes 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 Danish people favour renewable energies (66%) to address the climate emergency (close to the EU average of 63%). Support for renewables in Denmark is stronger among people over 64 (71% in favour). Perhaps surprisingly, this figure drops 14 points for people below 29 (57%).

Danes overall are as unsupportive of nuclear energy as other Europeans (11% vs. 12%). In Denmark, the gender gap is noticeable: men (15%) are much more in favour of nuclear energy than women (6%).

Finally, Danes people are slightly less likely to think that their country should rely on energy savings than other Europeans (11% vs. 17%). Saving energy is ranked above an increased role for natural gas (8%).

Most popular solutions to fight climate change among Danish people

The majority of Danes (73%) would support — to a slightly greater extent than Europeans in general (69%) — the introduction of a tax on products and services that contribute most to global warming. 70% of respondents with lower incomes would be in favour of such a tax in Denmark. Danes are also in favour of a 5-year minimum warranty on any electric or electronic product (87%) and replacing short-distance flights with fast, low-emission trains (83%). They also favour softer measures like strengthening education and increasing youth awareness of sustainable consumption (90%).

EIB Vice-President Christian Kettel Thomsen said: “Four out of five Danes, 79%, think that climate change and its consequences are the biggest challenge for humanity in the 21st century and want stricter measures and tools. The EIB has a strong track record of working with its Danish partners to support renewable projects and innovation in the field of cleaner energy in Denmark. It has the ambition to build on these successes with public and private sector partners in the country. As the European climate bank, the role of the EIB is to finance projects focusing on clean energy, energy savings, sustainable mobility solutions and innovations that help limit the rise in temperature to 1.5 °C or less.”  

--

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 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.