Consumer behaviorWhat German consumers could do without for the sake of climate protection

Today, Bitkom published a representative survey on the personal willingness of German consumers to limit or abandon CO2-intensive consumption habits such as air travel or meat consumption to protect the climate. According to the results, 70 percent of Germans could give up meat at least temporarily, but two thirds cannot imagine a life without access to the Internet.

For this study, Bitkom Research, on behalf of the digital association Bitkom, interviewed a total of 1,003 people in Germany aged 16 and above in April 2020 asking about which consumption habits they could abandon for climate protection and for how long.

These are further insights:

  • Internet: while the Internet is indispensable for 68 percent of respondents, 15 percent could generally do without it. Seven percent of respondents said they could do without the Internet for four weeks and another two percent could stay offline for two to three months.

  • Smartphone: smartphones are essential for a third of all respondents, but another 22 percent could also do without them – this roughly coincides with the share of Germans who do not own a mobile phone with Internet access. Another 28 percent could do without their smartphone for up to four weeks and another 15 percent for five to twelve weeks.

  • Meat: giving up meat consumption in favor of climate protection is not an option for 27 percent of consumers – eight percent, on the other hand, could completely give up on meat. A share of around 20 percent each could live meat-free for up to one month or for two to three months. Eleven percent would be willing to give up meat consumption for more than six months.

  • Streaming: with 52 percent around half of respondents said they could do without video streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and YouTube, while 25 percent could not. One out of ten stated they would be willing to give up video streaming for up to four weeks.

  • Air travel: half of consumers stated they could forgo traveling by plane entirely. Another 41 percent could do without flying for more than half a year.

  • Car: while one quarter of consumers could do without a car in favor of climate protection, the opposite is true for nine percent of respondents. The latter applies to five percent of urban residents (cities with over 500,000 inhabitants) and twelve percent of rural residents (municipalities with fewer than 20,000 inhabitants). 26 percent could abstain from using a car for up to four weeks and twelve percent could do so for three to six months.

Source: Bitkom

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