More people fear, prepare for climate change after unusually hot summer
An unusually hot summer has led more Dutch people to fear the effects of climate change, according to a poll by Trouw. As a result, some people see themselves changing their habits in the next few years to be more environmentally-friendly.
Four out of 10 people are more afraid of the effects of climate change than they were last year and over six in 10 respondents with children or grandchildren are afraid the world will become less habitable for their descendents. Out of all the age groups, people from 18 to 34 were the most fearful of the impacts of climate change.
While a 12 percent minority does not believe the extreme heat of the summer was related to climate change, more than two-thirds of the respondents saw it as climate change becoming more noticeable. However, many respondents still didn't see themselves changing their behavior in the near future.
“People are concerned, according to other studies," said environmental psychologist Thijs Bouman. "But the translation to more action is not always clear.”
For example, seven out of 10 respondents did not think they would change next year's holiday plans, and a vast majority still expect to own a car in five years. At the same time, almost half of them said they are already consuming less with an eye for the environment. A vast majority had already taken steps to save energy. Nearly half could also see themselves eating less meat and buying fewer items of clothing five years from now, according to Trouw.
“People sometimes don't know how and what to do and whether it makes sense," Bouman told Trouw. "They are also creatures of habit. In addition, citizens underestimate what others are doing in terms of sustainable action.”