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Climate protection survey: "The moral finger doesn't work"


A study by the Federal Environment Agency shows that many Germans are annoyed by climate activists. However, approval of concrete measures is high.

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In October, 20,000 people demonstrated in front of the Brandenburg Gate for more climate protection

Photo: Alexander Pohl / / imago images/

Despite the pandemic, climate protection remains a particularly important issue for more than two thirds of citizens.

70 percent do not see the measures that are necessary for this as an impertinence.

This is the result of a study published by the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) on Friday.

However, the number of those who are annoyed by the feeling that they are being told how to live is growing, said UBA President Dirk Messner.

"The moral index finger doesn't work," Messner told the Funke Group newspapers.

Most people demand progress in environmental and climate protection.

»The government has momentum if it explains well what it intends to do and takes social balance into account.«

Example of the CO2 price: "Politicians should always say that they want to give back a significant part of the income to the citizens - for example by abolishing the green electricity surcharge." Because the citizens did not want climate protection "at any price". , for example when it comes to jobs.

Concrete measures have high support

If the ecological restructuring of the economy leads to job losses, 50 percent would prefer job security, said Messner.

»But that also means: 50 percent rate climate protection higher.«

Concrete measures such as a speed limit on motorways, the reduction of pesticides, less meat consumption or a freeze on subsidies for climate-damaging products would have the support of 60 percent to 90 percent of those surveyed.

Four out of five participants in the survey also stated that they personally see climate change as a threat.

The consequences would endanger livelihoods in Germany as well.

A majority of politicians, business people – and even themselves – attest that the increased awareness is not yet sufficiently reflected in corresponding changes in behavior.

While only 16 percent of those surveyed believed that industry is doing enough, only a quarter of the federal government and a good third of the cities and municipalities thought so.

However, the survey took place in December 2020, i.e. before the federal elections and the change of government.

When asked, the press spokesman for the UBA cited the size of the project as the reason for the late publication.

Only one in five thought that the citizens themselves are doing enough to protect the environment and climate.

According to the study, a "certain sense of being overwhelmed" is evident.

44 percent of those surveyed stated that they "personally often lack the opportunity" to do something for climate protection.

In addition, almost a fifth thinks that they »cannot also take care of climate protection«.

"The uncertainty as to what contribution to climate protection one can really make as an individual affects actions," write the experts from the Federal Environment Agency.

This gap between consciousness and behavior is evident in equal measure "in young and old, in the formally highly or less educated, women and men, the wealthy or less wealthy."

"The study has good news - and a mystery," said Manuel Rivera from the Institute for Transformative Sustainability Research (IASS) in Potsdam.

»The good news is that the pandemic in Germany has not made people forget about the ecological crisis.«

The puzzle lies in the fact that the differences in the willingness to change can hardly be explained by the usual factors such as education, income or place of residence.


Source: spiegel

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