“Climate protection remains a central issue for people even during the coronavirus pandemic. This came to us as a surprise, especially since a large number of households are reporting financial losses,” says Manuel Frondel, head of the Environment and Resources research department at RWI. ZEW environmental economist Daniel Osberghaus adds, “the people surveyed are in favour of measures that will limit the economic consequences of the pandemic but at the same time help to achieve climate targets. Views on climate policy are also remaining stable during the pandemic.”
The most important facts in brief
- In a recent survey of more than 6,000 households, only 0.6 per cent of those questioned stated they had been infected with the coronavirus and that this was verifiable. About half of the households surveyed suffered financial losses, however, and just under eight per cent of those surveyed even reported large or very large losses.
- Climate change nonetheless remains an important issue for 70 per cent of the people surveyed. Only six per cent of the respondents believe climate change has lost importance since the beginning of the year. 23 per cent believe that it has gained importance in recent months.
- A clear majority of those surveyed (63 per cent) are in favour of linking economic and climate policy during the coronavirus crisis, i.e. measures to support the economy should at the same time help to achieve climate targets. Just under 37 per cent believe that social justice is even more important in this context than climate change, while only around 28 per cent of households think that reviving the economy is the top priority and that all other goals, including climate protection, should be subordinated to this goal.
- 62 per cent of those surveyed say that public investments should only be made if they contribute to reducing CO2 emissions. When it comes to purchasing premiums for fuel burners, the federal government can get confirmation from the results of the study; a drive-independent purchase premium for cars is supported by only nine per cent of those surveyed. In contrast, 34 per cent of the respondents support a purchase premium for cars with climate-friendly drive systems.
- A reduction in electricity prices was also met with great approval: 69 per cent of those surveyed were in favour of a price reduction e.g. in the form of a lower EEG (German Renewable Energy Sources Act).