Quarter of Dutch see coronavirus as a chance to make a positive impact on the climate

Amsterdam street largely abandoned due to coronavirus restrictions, 18 March 2020
Amsterdam street largely abandoned due to coronavirus restrictions, 18 March 2020DedMityayDepositPhotosDeposit Photos

Netherlands residents are divided about how to deal with the coronavirus crisis in combination with the climate crisis. 13 percent think that all attention must now be given to fighting Covid-19, and the fight against climate change should be put on the back burner. But 28 percent see the coronavirus crisis as an opportunity to rebuild the Netherlands in a more sustainable way, according to a survey by I&O Research. 

38 percent of respondents said that the climate policy should be given priority after the coronavirus has been dealt with and the economy has recovered. And 15 percent said that the climate policy, like any other policy, must be implemented as planned. That brings the Netherlands to a pretty much equally divided 51 percent for putting the climate policy on hold and 43 percent for continuing the fight against climate change through the coronavirus crisis. The other six percent of respondents did not have an opinion on this matter.

Over three quarters, 78 percent, of respondents did agree that the government should initially focus on supporting small and medium sized businesses in its measures to save the economy. 47 percent of Netherlands residents agreed that airlines and Schiphol must take measures to become more sustainable before they become eligible for state aid. 

Sixty percent of Netherlands residents experience the coronavirus crisis as a moment to think about society and the economy and how this can be better structured in the future, according to the researchers.

Almost exactly half, 49 percent, of Netherlands residents are pessimistic about the extent to which society and the economy will actually improve after the crisis. 

Last week the government announced that it will not be implementing any new measures to reduce CO2 emissions due to the coronavirus crisis, and a poll showed that the vast majority of Dutch are against this decision.