EIB survey reveals the ‘most effective measure to fight climate change’


A survey conducted by the European Investment Bank highlights measures that people believe can help tackle climate change.

The third 2020-2021 EIB Climate Survey has revealed that Europeans believe changes in behavior are the most effective measure to fight climate change, whilst Americans and Chinese are slightly more confident in technological innovation as the best way to fight climate change.

Key study findings include:

39% of Europeans say the best way to fight climate change is through a radical change in their individual habits. These people believe changing their energy consumption is the best way to way to tackle climate change. 29% count instead on technological innovation.

35% of Chinese people and 34% of Americans say innovation, digitalisation and the development of renewable energy are the most effective ways to fight climate change; 32% of respondents in China and 31% in the US have more confidence in the role of individual behaviour changes.

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36% of Europeans and Americans wish to expand teleworking to reduce commuting and fight climate change.

The public is divided on the main motive for reducing reliance on fossil fuels with 48% of Europeans and 45% of Americans citing the depletion of fossil fuels as the main reason. These percentages also cited the need to reduce reliance on energy imports as the other reason. On the other hand, 24% of Europeans and 24% of Americans believe the main reason for reducing fossil fuel use is to reduce local pollution. In China, 33% of respondents see reducing the use of fossil fuels as an opportunity to reduce local pollution.

Europeans, Americans and the Chinese all see energy as a priority sector in the fight against climate change. 49% of European and Chinese respondents and 47% of Americans say increasing the use of renewable energy sources is vital in the fight against climate change.

Regarding the role of the electrification of the transport sector in the fight against climate change, 52% of Chinese say heavily taxing highly polluting cars and further developing public transportation should also be prioritised. 40% of Europeans and 37% of Americans say subsidies for electric cars must be expanded.

EIB vice-president Ambroise Fayolle, said: “People across Europe are sending us an encouraging message. They firmly believe in the power of their individual behaviour to address the climate crisis. Meanwhile, a strong majority of Europeans believe that climate action must take social inequalities into account in order to be successful – no one should be left behind in the green transition.

“This is crucial. As part of our transformation into the EU climate bank, it is our role to help individuals take action by financing sustainable mobility services and circular economy solutions. In addition, our Climate Survey shows that people believe in technological innovation to fight climate change. At the EIB, we have been supporting the green transition for many years, but much remains to be done.

“We need to drastically scale up and accelerate our efforts, and explore different, innovative and disruptive solutions to help people move towards a more sustainable future. This is what we are committed to doing through our new Climate Bank Roadmap underpinning the European Green Deal.”

Explore the results for all 30 countries surveyed here.

The survey was conducted in partnership with market research firm BVA to survey more than 30,000 respondents.