Ipsos and the Elcano Royal Institute have both published reports that show that the Spanish people are committed to combating climate change and are doing so by changing their daily habits and routines.
The concern about climate change has been gradually spreading among the different populations around the world. In fact, Spain is one of the countries where it has had the greatest impact. According to the study Climate Change and Consumer Behaviour, a study carried out by the market research company Ipsos together with the World Economic Forum, our population has changed its consumption habits by 76% in order to mitigate the effects of this process.
In order to complete this study a survey was carried out of nearly 20,000 people from 28 different countries. The results from the survey show that India came up with the highest score, 88%, while Spain came in eighth, ahead of countries such as the United Kingdom, France and Germany. It was also ahead of countries that have historically shown greater awareness in this area, such as Sweden and New Zealand.
The areas in which the Spanish people have made the greatest change to their behavior have been in regard to water and energy consumption, (which they have significantly lowered), recycling and re-using products and choosing energy efficient domestic appliances. But there is still room for improvement in regard to the rational use of non-polluting means of transport and the promotion of public transport.
Our concern for the environment is also reflected in studies such as the list prepared by the Pew Research Center, which states that 81% of Spaniards believe that climate change is a serious threat to the planet. The Elcano Royal Institute also came to the same conclusion in its report Los españoles ante el cambio climático (How the Spanish View Climate Change). The report, based on the answers gathered from 1,000 interviews, confirms that our environmental awareness can be classified as medium to high and that few people deny the existence of climate change. In total, 97% believe that the process exists and 92% say that humans are primarily responsible for it occurring.
This text indicates that, on an individual basis, the actions with the most widespread and significant impact are waste separation, air-drying clothes and reducing meat consumption. Over 90 per cent of those interviewed agree that part of the General State Budget (PGE) should be devoted to compensating for the damage caused by this phenomenon.
Those interviewed also believed that it would be positive to use these funds to increase Spain’s natural capital through reforestation and forest cleaning. In addition, 57% of those consulted agree that they would be willing to pay more for their vehicle’s road tax to avoid the impacts of climate change.
The vast majority of those interviewed agree that Spain should have a law regulating climate change and energy transition. There is strong support for the establishment of sectoral climate targets and the inclusion of a carbon dioxide emissions neutrality objective. There is also support for the establishment of a scientific committee capable of making recommendations for the adoption of climate targets.
Although the majority of the Spanish people are committed to fighting climate change, various sectors are still intent on circulating information that denies the impacts of climate change. In order to combat this, various events have been organised to inform the public about this.
One example is the last Climate Summit (COP25), with meetings such as Disinformation and Denial of Climate Change, organized by the Secretary of State for Global Spain. It highlighted, among other aspects, the fact that Spain is among the 12 best countries in the world in terms of environmental health and ecological vitality, according to the Yale University Environmental Performance Index (EPI).
As a result, Spain is positioned as one of the countries in the world with the greatest interest in slowing down climate change. Not only because it is on the list of the worst affected countries in the long term, according to the UN, but also because of the social responsibility that all Spaniards have adopted in light of this situation.
- IPSOS and the World Economic Forum: Climate Change and Consumer Behaviour
- Pew Research Center: A look at how people around the world view climate change
- The Elcano Royal Institute: Los españoles ante el cambio climático / How the Spanish View Climate Change
- Yale University: Environmental Performance Index (EPI)