Most Slovaks refuse to fight climate change by lowering living standards

Slovaks' knowledge about climate change is far from ideal, survey also shows.

A plant in Nováky in the Upper Nitra region.A plant in Nováky in the Upper Nitra region. (Source: TASR)

Slovaks agree that climate change is happening, but they are not willing to pay higher taxes or prices to protect the Earth.

A survey conducted by the Department of Environmental Studies at Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic, has found that three quarters of Slovak people are aware of climate change. Two thirds feel its impact in their everyday life, according to the poll, but climate change worries just one third of people in Slovakia.

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Read also How Slovak towns are trying to ‘not be killed’ by cars Read more 

The department surveyed 1,934 people, the TASR news agency wrote. The data collection took place in the spring of this year, at a time of rising inflation and in the midst of a debate on energy prices.

Politicians should do more

Three quarters of Slovaks want industrial companies, government, Environment Ministry, politicians as well as mayors to be more actively involved in the fight against climate change.

The results show that more than 75 percent of people agree that renewable energy sources should be supported financially. More than three quarters of the population supports the production of energy from the sun, wind and water. The production of energy from biomass and geothermal sources has more than three-fifths support.

Read also No plan, no leader. Slovakia politically unprepared to face climate change Read more 

According to the survey, natural elements should be created to retain water in the country as well. People also support the insulation of buildings and the construction of energy-efficient buildings, as well as the promotion of ecological practices in agriculture.

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On the other hand, the survey shows that Slovaks are not willing to pay higher prices or taxes to stop climate change. A quarter of people said that they would lower their standard of living, and more than half of people would agree with a lifestyle change.

Climate change information chaos

The Slovak public is often not aware of basic information about climate change and how to protect the Earth, according to the authors of the survey.

Read also Most Slovaks are worried about climate change but sceptical of carbon neutrality Read more 

“The vast majority of the public does not know that the hole in the ozone layer does not contribute to climate change,” they said. In addition, people do not realise how significantly cheaper the production of energy from renewable sources has become in recent years, or they have no idea how high Slovakia’s greenhouse gas emissions are compared to other countries. Forty percent of people think that tree planting is enough to stop climate change.

The department has also said that two thirds of Slovaks would like Slovak non-profit organisations to be more involved in tackling climate change, and more than half of people support climate change-related petitions.

Climate demonstrations and strikes were approved by less than three-tenths of adults in the survey.

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