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Survey: citizens want Germany to take a lead in climate protection

12/17/2010 - Citizens want the German government to take the lead in international climate protection. Close to 61 percent of the interviewees said so in a representative survey now published by the Federal Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt). “People support an active role of the federal government in climate issues, and they do this stronger than they did in the past,” says Fritz Reusswig of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). He was responsible for the conceptual design and analysis of the 100-page-survey’s parts regarding climate. In 2008, he points out, just 50 percent wanted to see Germany acting as a pioneer of climate protection. A more detailed report of the findings will be released early next year.

The results “fit well the outcome of the Cancún summit that is hoped to be a new start for global climate policy,” Reusswig says. The weak outcome of last year’s summit in Copenhagen as well as the public attacks on the credibility of the world climate council IPCC apparently have not reduced the support of the respondents for climate policy.

Trust in the media coverage on climate shrunk marginally, Reusswig says. “This is quite a contrast to the situation in the US where a Gallup study some months ago showed a considerable decrease of trust in media reporting on global warming[p1].” This has been observed also among the more educated parts of the American population, Reusswig adds. The German survey, however, shows that regarding climate issues the more educated tend to think that “things are even worse than the papers present them,” Reusswig says.

56 percent of the respondents said they are convinced that Germany can cope with climate change. This is up from 39 percent in 2006. Just 38 percent think, according to the study, that the government up to now shows sufficient commitment in climate policy.


Weblink to the study of the Federal Environment Agency:

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