SustainabilityEnvironmental awareness in Germany 2020: Majority of Germans supports more ambitious environmental and climate policy

The German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV) and the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) today presented results of their study ‘Environmental Awareness in Germany 2020’ on climate protection and socio-ecological transformation. The results indicate that most Germans support a more ambitious environmental and climate policy. For example, 80 percent of respondents were in favor of banning climate-damaging products.

For this representative study, the infas Institute for Applied Social Science and the ISOE – Institute for Social-Ecological Research were commissioned by the BMUV and UBA to conduct a survey of 2,115 people aged 14 and above in Germany between November and December 2020 regarding their environment-related attitude and behavior.

These are further insights:

  • The majority of Germans supports a ban on climate-damaging products (80 percent), the reduction of climate-damaging subsidies (88 percent), linking agricultural subsidies to ecological services and the greater expansion of ecological agriculture (92 percent).
  • On the subject of mobility, respondents favored a speed limit on highways (64 percent), more and better bike paths (84 percent) and improved public transportation with more stops and higher frequency (89 percent).
  • Asked about their own behavior, 67 percent said they were willing to eat less meat in the future, 60 percent wanted to buy energy-efficient appliances more consistently and 74 percent wanted to consume less overall.

Dirk Messner, President of the Federal Environment Agency: "We need to take a close look at what barriers exist for citizens. Policymakers must make it easier for people to live sustainably and adapt their everyday routines. We need demanding energy and environmental standards for buildings, means of transport, products and food, as well as prices that tell the ecological truth more strongly. At the same time, we need to avoid social hardship, for example in the form of a "climate money" for citizens that is transferred back from CO2 revenues. This is the only way to make environmental protection mainstream. I am pleased that our survey shows not only a strong willingness in almost all areas to support measures for more environmental and climate protection, but also overwhelmingly calls for more to be done. Above all from politicians. But respondents also expect more commitment from industry and business, as well as from citizens themselves."

Source: UBA

More information and the Environmental Awareness Study 2020