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Environment and Climate change

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This report into the environment draws on two studies undertaken by TNS Opinion and Social for the European Commission: Attitudes of European Citizens towards the Environment Special Eurobarometer 365 …

This report into the environment draws on two studies undertaken by TNS Opinion and Social for the European Commission: Attitudes of European Citizens towards the Environment Special Eurobarometer 365 Climate Change Special Eurobarometer 372

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  • 1. Environmentand climate changePollution, resource depletion, climate change and biodiversity are just some ofthe environmental issues that concern us. Research by TNS Opinion and Socialshows that we, the citizens of the European Union, feel that more should bedone: by Government, the EU, industry – and by ourselves.We want to make a difference. Two thirds of us recycle, and we have also cutdown on consumption of energy and water. Three out of four of us would pay alittle more to buy environmentally friendly products.We feel that polluters should take responsibility for their actions and we wouldlike this backed up with stricter legislation and fines for offenders – 81% believethat European legislation is necessary to protect the environment in their owncountry.Scientists and environmental agencies such as Greenpeace top our trust list onenvironmental issues. In contrast, only 7% trust national and local governmentand just 2% say they trust companies. Our cynicism extends to productsclaiming green credentials. Half of us do not believe that labels tell us whether aproduct is genuinely environmentally friendly or not.Despite our concerns and desire for action we are optimistic about our ability tobecome more efficient at using energy in the future. follow us on Environment and Climate Change ©TNS 2013
  • 2. Close to our heart We care about the environment. we want to do our bit and there is a Infact, 95% say that the environment strong belief that individuals can play is ‘important to me personally’, a their part. However, there is also a consensus that runs across countries, strong view that the big polluters are age and occupation. It is not a distant industry and corporations, and that concept; three-quarters of us say that they should take responsibility for environmental problems impact upon their actions. our daily life. Perhaps because of this, 2 ©TNS 2013
  • 3. Issues of concernMan-made disasters and pollution fourth place at 34%, equal totop the list of concerns. However, chemicals in products - a drop of 20the environment is not a single- percentage points since the 2007topic issue: people are worried about survey.air pollution, effects on our health of It may be that recent coverage ofchemicals in products, genetically the Gulf of Mexico oil spill andmodified foods, loss of biodiversity Fukushima has pushed climateand more. Climate change is in change down the agenda. 3 ©TNS 2013
  • 4. Not enough is being doneMan-made disasters and pollution fourth place at 34%, equal totop the list of concerns. However, chemicals in products - a drop of 20the environment is not a single- percentage points since the 2007topic issue: people are worried about survey.air pollution, effects on our health of It may be that recent coverage ofchemicals in products, genetically the Gulf of Mexico oil spill andmodified foods, loss of biodiversity Fukushima has pushed climateand more. Climate change is in change down the agenda. 4 ©TNS 2013
  • 5. We want the EU to take the leadMan-made disasters and pollution fourth place at 34%, equal totop the list of concerns. However, chemicals in products - a drop of 20the environment is not a single- percentage points since the 2007topic issue: people are worried about survey.air pollution, effects on our health of It may be that recent coverage ofchemicals in products, genetically the Gulf of Mexico oil spill andmodified foods, loss of biodiversity Fukushima has pushed climateand more. Climate change is in change down the agenda. 5 ©TNS 2013
  • 6. Citizen powerCitizens are willing to help the four buys locally produced productsenvironment personally: only 6% for environmental reasons. Even theclaim to do nothing. Recycling is the car is being used less. There ismost popular activity but people are momentum behind consumers’also active in reducing water and preparedness to do theirenergy consumption and are cutting bit; activity scores increased forback on their use of disposable items nearly every measure.such as plastic bags. One person in 6 ©TNS 2013
  • 7. Older people do moreAlthough it is young people who areoften most vocal about theenvironment, it is older people whoare more likely to take action.Perhaps older people have moretime, or a greater sense of civicduty. Generally, Eastern andSouthern Europe recycle less.Country figures, however, reflectfacilities and recycling demandsplaced on citizens. Bulgarians, forexample, recycle the least but areamongst the countries mostconcerned about the effect of theenvironment on their daily life. 7 ©TNS 2013
  • 8. The cost of good citizenshipThe majority of us (58%) would like score more highly on ‘agree to paylocal authorities to favour more’ but the correlation is notenvironmental considerations over proportionate. For example, 65% ofcost issues: twice as many as would Romanians would be prepared to payprioritise cost over the environment. a little more for environmentallyEven more (72%) are ‘prepared to friendly products, not far behindpay a little more’ for environmentally France at 72%, despite the huge gulffriendly products. Affluent countries in personal income. 8 ©TNS 2013
  • 9. Willing to pay, but…Willingness to pay more for the cost or size of our car to protectenvironmentally friendly products the environment is a priority for onlyenjoys broad support – it holds true 15% of us and a tiny 2% listeven for the unemployed. But ‘paying more taxes’ in their top 3there are limits. Compromising on priorities. 9 ©TNS 2013
  • 10. We want an enforcement regimeOur preparedness to do our bit as However, it is not all stick. Taxcitizens is balanced by the view that breaks and incentives for goodoffenders should be fined more behaviour are popular as is providingheavily and that there should more information. However, the ideabe stricter legislation and better of taxing environmentally damagingenforcement of existing regulations. activities is relatively unwelcome. 10 ©TNS 2013
  • 11. Well informedMost of us (60%) believe ourselves significant scientific content such asto be well informed about the effect of chemicals in everydayenvironmental issues. products. TV and newspapersTelevision news is our main source of are doing a good job reporting oninformation on the environment events in the news but it is aalthough newspapers also score well. selective edit that leaves many of usDespite our confidence overall, many under-informed on important butfeel they lack information about less topical issues.specific issues; often topics with 11 ©TNS 2013
  • 12. Scientists are most trustedWhen it comes to the environment Most endorsed are scientists (40%)we are deeply distrusting of national and environmental protectionand local Government. Both score agencies (37%) such as Greenpeace.7%. We are cynical about politicians: Television and consumereven ‘Green’ political parties lack organisations fare well while the UNcredibility. Companies fare worse; scores a low 15% on trust.trusted by only 3% of EU citizens. 12 ©TNS 2013
  • 13. No consensus on trustLooking beneath the EU averages are completely distrusted in Swedenreveals interesting differences in the and, whilst 14% of the Irish trustexperience – or character – of national government, the figure forindividual countries. Just 2% of Spain is just 2%.Germans, for example, trust the EUon environmental issues. Companies 13 ©TNS 2013
  • 14. Cynical about ‘green labels’Given our very low trust of are disposed to be distrustful ofcompanies on environmental issues, companies’ claims to be friendsit is unsurprising that less than half of the environment. Are weof consumers believe green labelling becoming more cynical? It wouldallows us to identify products that seem so: over a four year period theare genuinely environmentally sceptics rose from 42% to 48%.friendly. It is clear that consumers 14 ©TNS 2013
  • 15. Optimism flourishesWe are confident in our ability to energy more efficiently generally andharness technology to create a more will be filling our cars with a moreenergy efficient future. We believe efficient alternative to petrol andthat by 2050 we will be using more diesel. The human spirit brims withrenewable energy, consuming optimism. 15 ©TNS 2013
  • 16. How TNS can helpFor most businesses today, their stance on the environment is a significantpart of their reputation. For some, it is a very important factor.As the world’s leading custom research company, TNS is trusted by majorpublic and private sector organisations to carry out large-scale researchprojects, such as the Eurobarometer studies for the European Commissiondiscussed in this booklet.With market-leading expertise in brand research, behaviour change, andstakeholder management, TNS can bring this range and capacity to bear bydesigning a research programme for your business.To discuss how TNS can help contactGabriella BergaglioMarketing Managerd + 39 (0)2 27 07 2299gabriella.bergaglio@tnsglobal.comSource: Eurobarometer research - the research was conducted by TNSOpinion and Social. Findings based on Special Eurobarometer 365 and SpecialEurobarometer 372. 16 ©TNS 2013

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