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Majority of voters want political parties to tackle global warming

EU
| 16.04.2019

A new Ipsos MORI survey released on 16 April 2019 reveals that 77% of potential voters across 11 European countries identify global warming as an important criteria when deciding who to vote for in the May European elections. This view is shared by young potential voters (75% under the 30s).

This survey, carried out with potential voters across 11 European countries also reveals that environment protection and European leadership on climate action are also key issues for a large majority of potential voters across EU11.

As the 27 EU Heads of State and Government will meet in Sibiu (Romania) on 9 May to discuss the future of the European Union in the run-up to the European elections two weeks later, the results of this survey send a clear message to the actual and future decision-makers: Climate action is an election issue for voters and should be a cornerstone of Europe that citizens want.

Countries' expectations

According to the Ipsos MORI survey, when it comes to specific country expectations:

  • New jobs in the green energy industry are key to potential voters in Italy, Spain, Poland, Austria and France;
  • EU’s leadership role in fighting climate change is key in Italy and Spain;
  • Protecting against extreme weather events is necessary in Italy and Spain;
  • The EU focusing on solar energy to benefit Spain is important in the country, and solar and wind power in Slovakia;
  • Reducing single-use plastics in Netherlands, where it was the most important message for potential voters, but also important in Czech Republic;
  • Enforcing consumer rights in cases like the Diesel scandal in Germany;
  • Organic farming and the damage of pesticides in France.

Citizens' expectations

When deciding which party to vote for:

  • 82% want a party that will force the most polluting companies to clean up and stop destroying our planet;
  • 82% want a party that will cut the use of pesticides and antibiotics in food production;
  • 80% want a party that will work to protect nature and stop those who are destroying our wildlife;
  • 73% want a party that will make the EU a global leader in fighting climate change.
The results of this survey echo the concerns raised by millions of Europeans who marched in the last months in European cities to ask our political leaders to act on climate. Climate action is not a partisan issue and it is clear that it has now become a key election issue for voters. All political parties should make climate action a priority or they risk completely missing the point. Mobilizing citizens to go vote and be enthused by a new project for Europe requires the commitment to a just and green Europe, that listens to its citizens.
Laurence Tubiana, CEO of the European Climate Foundation
It will come as no surprise to business leaders that climate is a top concern for EU voters. We work with hundreds of businesses that are helping build the zero-carbon economy – for them it is clear that bold action on climate change [set by EU governments] is good for their customers, for the planet and for their bottom line.
Nigel Topping, CEO, We Mean Business coalition
This survey confirms that climate change is now a major political issue for European citizens. Europe’s politicians must now realise that they will no longer be able to get elected if they do not fight climate change, with words and deeds.
Thomas Pellerin-Carlin, Head of the Energy Centre at the Jacques-Delors Institute

About the Ipsos MORI survey

This European Elections study of potential voters, commissioned by the European Climate Foundation, was carried out by Ipsos MORI in January 2019 with online samples of 2,000 potential voters aged 18 – 65 in each of 11 European countries (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia and Spain). 16 – 65 were interviewed in Austria, 18 – 59s in Poland and 18 – 50s in Slovakia. National samples were weighted to be representative of the adult population in each country and participants saying they are not at all likely to vote at the next European Parliament elections excluded from the research.

Total figures are averages across the 11 countries (treating each country as equal).