Most Germans ready to make sacrifices for planet — survey

Image: turning down thermostat by Imago images
DW 23 April 2023

Germans said they were prepared to cut their heat use and fly less to help tackle climate change. But most are reluctant to give up meat and their cars, according to a YouGov poll.

Two-thirds of Germans are willing to make a personal sacrifice to protect the planet against climate change, a new survey published Sunday suggested.

The YouGov survey on behalf of Welt am Sonntag newspaper also found 43% were willing to fly less often, while 40% were prepared to use less heat.

The participants, however, said they were reluctant to accept curbs on what they could eat. Less than a third (27%) said they were prepared to change their diet.

The willingness to do without a car was the lowest, with only 13% of respondents ready to give up private transport.

Germany pledges to cut emissions

Germany is taking far-reaching measures to help tackle climate change, including the transition to electromobility and a ban on the installation of oil and gas heating systems.

The government has pledged to make Germany greenhouse gas neutral by 2045.

Energy demand should by that point be met exclusively by renewable energy sources such as photovoltaics, wind and hydropower.

Last weekend, Germany shut down its three remaining nuclear power stations.

Energy crisis throws spanner in works

The energy crisis, caused by the instability of Russian energy supplies in the wake of the country’s invasion of Ukraine, has forced Berlin to increase the use of a dirtier form of energy, coal, in the interim.

As a result, a majority of Germans are not convinced that the zero carbon target will be reached.

One in five questioned said the climate-neutral plan was unfeasible. Another 30% think a complete divestment from fossil fuels is unlikely.

Only 14% of Germans believe the energy transition will be achieved.

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