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Almost all Europeans say protecting the environment is important to them

Sep 8, 2014 | News

(08 September 2014) – Three years on from the most recent similar Eurobarometer survey, it is clear that, despite the economic crisis, Europeans’ concern about the environment has not diminished.

In an overwhelming consensus, 95% of the 28.000 interviewed citizens said that protecting the environment is important to them personally and many think more can be done.

While 80% consider that the economy influences their quality of life, 75% think the state of the environment has a similar impact and 77% of EU citizens believe that environmental problems have a direct effect on their daily lives. They worry most about pollution – air (56%) and water pollution (50%) ranking highest – as well as waste generation and the depletion of natural resources.

Even more citizens than in 2011 (75%) say they are ready to buy environmentally-friendly products, even if it means paying a little more. A vast majority (93%) think that big polluters should make good the environmental damage they cause. Introducing heavier fines for offenders was deemed the most effective way of tackling environmental problems.

85% of Europeans believe they have a role to play in protecting the environment. Most are adopting environmentally-friendly actions and behaviour. Separation of waste for recycling (72%), cutting down energy consumption (52%) and cutting down water consumption (37%) were the three most common activities.

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