Survey: 76 percent of young Romanians in favour of stricter government measures for individuals to fight climate change
The second part of the 2022-2023 European Investment Bank (EIB) Climate Survey explores people’s views on climate change in a rapidly changing world. The results from this release focus on people’s individual behaviour and the actions they are taking to combat climate change.
- 69 percent of Romanian respondents are in favour of stricter government measures to impose a change in personal behaviour (76 percent of people under 30).
- 80 percent of Romanians aged 20-29 say the climate impact of prospective employers is an important factor when job hunting, and 36 percent say it is even a top priority.
- 62 percent of Romanians would be in favour of a carbon budget system to set a cap on the most climate-damaging consumption.
- 71 percent of Romanians say they would pay more for climate-friendly food.
- 82 percent are in favour of labelling all food to help limit the impact on climate and the environment.
Individual behaviour and stricter government measures
The war in Ukraine and its consequences, including rising energy prices and inflation, have dramatically increased concerns about declining purchasing power in Romania. However, climate change remains one of the country’s top three challenges, according to Romanian respondents. Three-quarters of Romanians (76 percent, or 4 percentage points above the EU average) say they are convinced that their own behaviour can make a difference in addressing the climate emergency.
For many, the government has a role to play in encouraging individual behavioural change. A majority of Romanians (69 percent) are in favour of stricter government measures imposing a change in people’s behaviour to tackle climate change (76 percent of respondents under 30 would welcome such measures).
A growing number of people entering the workforce each year are looking at employers’ climate credentials when job hunting. Most Romanian respondents (73 percent) say it is important that prospective employers prioritise sustainability. For 29 percent of Romanians, it is even a top priority. This majority holds across the political spectrum and at all income levels. Of people aged 20 to 29 — typically those looking for their first or second job — more than three-quarters (80 percent) say that sustainability is an important factor in their choice of employer, and 36 percent say it is a top priority.Capping individual consumption
A majority of Romanian respondents (62 percent) say they would be in favour of a carbon budget system that would allocate each individual a fixed number of yearly credits to be spent on items with a big carbon footprint (non-essential goods, flights, meat, etc.). Nearly the same rate of Bulgarians share this opinion (56 percent), whereas only 47 percent of Hungarian respondents say they would welcome such a system.
It is noteworthy that a majority of Romanians favour this measure regardless of income (63 percent of lower-income, 71 percent of middle-income, and over 58 percent of higher-income respondents).
Food labelling and pricing
Food production accounts for a significant share of greenhouse gas emissions. To help people make more sustainable choices when grocery shopping, 82 percent of Romanians are in favour of labelling all food products with their climate footprint. This is 5 percentage points above the rate in Bulgaria (77 percent), and 10 percentage points above the rate in Hungary (72 percent).
In addition, 71 percent of Romanians say they would be willing to pay slightly more for food that is produced locally and more sustainably (the same rate as Bulgarians, but 19 percentage points more than Hungarians, with 52 percent). This willingness to pay more for food spans all income groups.
Reducing the consumption of meat and dairy products would be another efficient way to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Yet just over half of Romanians (52 percent) would be in favour of limiting the amount of meat and dairy products that people can buy (13 percentage points more than Bulgarians, with 39 percent, and 14 percentage points more than Hungarians, with 38 percent).
In the words of Lara Tassan Zanin, head of the EIB office in Bucharest, “The outcome of the EIB Climate Survey shows that Romanians are more than willing to help fight climate change at the individual level. As the EU climate bank, we welcome this commitment. It is our role to enable people to take action against the climate crisis. We do this by financing green services such as sustainable transport, renewable energy and energy-efficient buildings. In 2022, we supported green projects in Romania with €158 million. We will continue to support projects and initiatives that accelerate the green transition and are looking for innovative ways to contribute to a prosperous future that leaves no one behind.”