The Dutch are becoming less concerned about the impact of climate change and this may have been fueled by rising energy taxes and newspaper campaigns against last year’s climate agreement, new research indicates.
In December 2017, 80% of those polled by I&O Research said they were worried about climate change, but by mid-February this year, the total had fallen to 65%. In 2017, 19% of those polled said climate change did not worry them, but that figure had risen to 34% by February.
One reason for the downturn could be the sharp rise in energy prices and taxes – which have put up the average household bill by €330 a year. Another may be the concerted anti-climate plan campaign by the Telegraaf newspaper and high profile political party Forum voor Democratie.
Support for the government’s plan to take more measures to reduce the impact of climate change has also fallen from 66% to 48%, I&O says. Some 2,500 people took part in the research project.
But even though almost half the population still back more effort to combat climate change, people are reluctant to actually change their own behaviour, the researchers point out.
Almost half think it ‘ridiculous’ that the Netherlands wants to phase out the use of gas. There is also little support for measures to cut down on the pollution caused by air travel, such as doubling the cost of ticket prices.
The report also points out that people with higher incomes and levels of education are likely to spend longest under the shower, fly the most and use their car more than others.
At the same time, people in their 20s, who are most concerned about climate change, are also most likely to shower for a long time and ignore the impact of their diets on climate change.
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