Ahead of EU vote, French and Danish citizens see climate as most transformative crisis of last decade – survey

(Clean Energy Wire, 17 Jan 2024) For people in France, Denmark and Switzerland, climate change is the most important of five major crises which Europeans say have changed the way they look at the future, a survey analysis by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) shows.

For the survey, the ECFR identified five major crises Europe experienced in the past 15 years: the climate crisis, the financial crisis, the migration crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Russia-Ukraine war. The researchers say that the “competing existential traumas that run through and between different member states” mean that the 2024 EU election in June could become “a competition between rival fears of rising temperatures, immigration, inflation, and military conflicts.” Of these five issues, climate and migration are the most mobilising ones in this year’s election, they say, pointing to the recent election result in the Netherlands, which put an anti-immigrant party at the top of the poll and the pro-climate left-wing alliance in second place. While climate has traditionally been a liberal EU topic, it is now “being ‘renationalised’, as a backlash becomes a powerful rallying cry for the anti-establishment right.”

Voters in the EU will head to the polls in June 2024 to elect the next European Parliament, kicking off a months-long process to pick the bloc’s new leadership that will shape climate policy until the end of the decade. ECFR surveyed about 15,000 people in 11 European countries in September and October 2023. Germany is the only country where the largest number of people select immigration as the issue that most concerns them.

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Clean Energy Wire, 17 Jan 2024: Ahead of EU vote, French and Danish citizens see climate as most transformative crisis of last decade – survey