9 out of 10 Portuguese people consider climate change to be a “very serious problem”
9 out of 10 Portuguese people consider climate change to be a “very serious problem,” more than the European Union average, according to a study released on Wednesday, showing that people are becoming more aware of the validity of the consequences associated with climate change.
1,012 face-to-face interviews were conducted in Portugal between the 9th and 22nd of April this year, and they showed that 87% of Portuguese respondents classify the environmental changes as “a very serious problem”, with 11% who considering it a “relatively serious” subject, and only 1% who reject the problematic nature of climate change.
These opinions expressed by the Portuguese respondents were higher than the EU average (out of 27,655 citizens from the 28 Member States interviewed), which saw 79% of European respondents considering it a “very serious problem”, 14% thinking of it as a “relatively serious” subject, and 6% discrediting it.
Still, 23% of European respondents believed climate change to be the most serious problem facing the world, more than the 19% in Portuguese respondents. Asked what they are doing at a personal level to combat this phenomenon, 74% of respondents in Portugal said they were taking action, more than the EU-wide average of around 60%.
As an example of the measures taken in the last six months, Portuguese respondents talked about reducing the waste they produced and increasing recycling (76%), and reducing energy consumption through the use of more efficient appliances (42%).
In addition, almost all Portuguese respondents argued that the government should set targets to increase the use of renewable energy by 2030 (96%) and support the improvement of energy efficiency (95%).
Moreover, almost all of these national respondents (97%) said they supported the EU’s goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050. Today, the European Commission has also released a statement reaffirming the EU’s involvement in environmental commitments, which will soon be presented at the United Nations (UN) Climate Action Summit later this month in New York.
At a press conference in Brussels following the announcement, Vice-President of the EU Energy Union Maros Sefcovic noted that “the fact that July this year was the warmest month ever registered makes the need to act clear “.
“All summer long – and I would venture to say all year long – we have had tragic news about how the world is changing dramatically in our eyes,” he added, alluding to “examples from Brazil, from France, but also from southern Europe”.
Bringing up the recent words of the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, Maros Sefcovic stressed that Brussels is “willing to do more”. “We fully respect the request made by António Guterres, that no time-wasting announcements should be made, but plans put rapidly into practice,” he said.
He also revealed that at the UN summit, the EU, which will be represented by President of the European Council Donald Tusk, will highlight its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050, taken on by 24 member states, including Portugal.