New YouGov EuroTrack polling across seven European countries suggests that there is significant public appetite for substantial policy changes that would see a much greener energy market, something that climate change activists have been pushing for a long time.
Although the support for greener energy is likely to have been driven in part by the personal financial impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and the increasing cost of energy bills, rather than directly by a need to tackle climate change, it does nonetheless present a key opportunity for climate change activists to push their agenda for cleaner energy.
Across all countries polled, a majority would support a government policy that ruled that only renewable energy can be produced. Italians and Spaniards feel particularly strongly about this, with 80% of Italians, and 75% of Spaniards supporting such a policy. The Germans need more persuading, with just 53% supporting this proposal.
Although there is significant support for a government-led policy in this area, people are slightly less willing to make this change of their own accord – while 7 in 10 Spaniards (69%) and Italians (70%) would be willing to switch their energy provider to one who only uses renewable energy, or have already done so, only half of Germans (49%) say the same.
With rising energy bills, people are increasingly looking to ways they can make their homes more energy-efficient, and this is reflected in the latest YouGov polling. Across all countries apart from Germany, the proportion of adults who say they would be willing to personally cover the costs to make their home more energy-efficient outweighs the number who say they would not be willing to do this. Germans feel very differently about this, with just 21% saying they would be willing to do this, although a quarter (27%) say this is not applicable to them (renting is much more common in Germany than in other countries). Again, Spaniards are the most willing, saying they would be open to covering this cost themselves by 48% to 22%.
The polling does suggest that cost, rather than the principle of domestic energy-efficiency, is the issue here. When asked about the potential of government subsidies to cover the cost of making your home more energy-efficient, there is overwhelming support across all countries for such a policy. For respondents in Britain, France and Spain the support is particularly strong, with more than half of adults saying they would strongly support such a policy.
There is also significant support for stricter legislation around how energy-efficient homes are. French people are the most likely to support tighter rules in this area (82%), whilst Danes are the least sure of this policy, although a majority (59%) still back it.
See full results here