Majority of Europeans Recognize Importance of ‘Green Economy’

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Written By: Jim Greenberg

The majority of Europeans say that investing in green technologies and reducing imported fossil fuels will boost Europe’s economy and employment rates, reveals a new EU poll.

Idaho National LabAccording to the ‘Eurobarometer’, a new poll from the European Commission, the number of Europeans in support of a ‘green economy’ has risen steadily over the past three years.

Despite the financial crisis and recession across Europe, a majority of member states (including those that suffered some of its worst effects) agree that clean technologies and better energy efficiency measures would benefit the economy. The poll’s results for 2014 reveal that nearly four out of five people (78%) agree that supporting a green economy would boost the EU’s overall economy and reduce unemployment rates.

The vast majority of Europeans also support national action on renewable energy and energy efficiency, with 92% saying it is important for their governments to provide support in improving energy efficiency by 2030.

Europeans also largely support reductions in the EU’s fossil fuel imports. Seven in ten respondents believe that reducing the EU’s imported fossil fuels -which cost more than half a billion euros per year -would benefit the economy.

The survey found that Europeans are strongly supportive of taking climate action. Nearly seven in ten respondents believe that climate change is ‘very serious’, and 50% had taken some form of action over the past six months to help mitigate the impacts of climate change.

“Cost-effective climate action is indeed good economics. I am very encouraged that European citizens recognize that too”, says Jose Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Commission. He adds, “This poll sends a strong signal to EU leaders to take bold climate action for a sustainable economic recovery.”

Also supporting this motion is think tank Copenhagen Consensus Center (CCC). Their report, published in January, warned that unless greenhouse gas emissions are stabilized, the costs associated with global warming and climate change would cause great economic damage post 2025.