Thursday 23 October 2014

80pc feel fighting climate change will aid economy

Paul Melia Environment Correspondent

Published 04/03/2014 | 02:30

Connie Hedegaard, EU Commissioner for Climate Action
Connie Hedegaard, EU Commissioner for Climate Action. Photo: Johannes Jansson/norden.org

TACKLING climate change and using energy more efficiently can boost the economy and employment, more than 80pc of Irish people believe.

But the numbers who believe it is the "most serious problem" facing the world is below the EU average, a survey has found.

The Eurobarometer survey, involving almost 28,000 people from across Europe, shows that most people now believe climate change to be the third most serious issue facing the planet, after poverty and the economic situation.

Some 41pc of people questioned in Ireland said it was the most serious problem, compared with 50pc across the bloc and 81pc of Swedes.

The survey also finds:

* Almost half (48pc) of Irish respondents think that the Government is responsible for tackling climate change. This is in line with the EU average.

* More than one in five (22pc) said business and industry were responsible, below the EU average of 41pc.

* Supports from government to improve energy efficiency, such as encouraging home insulation, are important for 94pc of Irish respondents.

* While 67pc try to reduce waste and recycle, just one in four (24pc) chooses energy-efficient appliances.

"The poll confirms that a clear majority of Europeans expect their politicians to tackle the climate challenge now," European Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard said.

"The citizens understand that climate change did not go away while their governments were busy handling the economic crisis. It is not either growth and competitiveness or the climate. It is both – it has to be both.

"I hope EU leaders will listen and act accordingly at the European Council later this month when they will discuss our 2030 climate and energy proposals.''

Irish Independent

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