Greeks and Climate Change: presentation of the 1st pan-Hellenic opinion poll

Athens - LIFE-IP AdaptInGR

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The results of the first pan-Hellenic opinion poll on climate change, which is part of the EU LIFE-IP AdaptInGR project, were presented at a well-attended event held in the General Assembly Hall of the Bank of Greece on 9/18/2019, after speeches by Kostis Hatzidakis, Minister of Environment and Energy, Theodoros Mitrakos, Deputy Governor of the Bank of Greece and Lydia Carras, President of ELLINIKI ETAIRIA (Society for the Environment and Cultural Heritage).

Among the conclusions of the poll are: Greek public opinion considers climate change to be a major problem and is generally positive towards measures being taken to mitigate it. Examples of such measures are: installation of Renewable Energy Sources in public buildings, ban on disposable plastics, zero emissions by 2050 – a European Union policy – and mandatory adoption of bioclimatic architecture. By a large majority, public opinion accepts proposals for a new tax policy that will redistribute the tax burden by taking environmental impact into account. There is a smaller, but clear, majority among the residents of large urban centers for the introduction of tolls for vehicles entering the city center.

Lydia Carras commented that, “The results of the nationwide survey map current attitudes in public opinion by region and by age group, and will be a useful tool in policy making. The Government is called on to combine the enormous effort it has undertaken to rebuild the country’s economy, something we all want, with the new facts of Climate Change “.

• The poll reveals that young people aged 15-17 are not informed about climate change and makes clear that there is a need for immediate and intense efforts to raise awareness of the issue.
• Greeks consider every person/family as primarily responsible for climate change, recognising the importance of personal attitudes and behaviour. After individuals and families, responsibility lies with the major powers, private companies and states and governments.
• There is a marked geographical variation in awareness: as a rule, areas which are more highly vulnerable to climate change have the lowest knowledge on the risks they face.
• Citizens seem willing to take the following measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help mitigate climate change: a / recycling/reuse, b / energy upgrading of homes, c / reduced meat consumption,
• Finally, for the first time it appears that Greeks are thinking of voting for local, and possibly national, leaders based on their stance and positions on climate change.

The event was honored by the presence of: P. Pikrammenos, Deputy Prime Minister, G. Papandreou, former Prime Minister & Member of Parliament, D. Economou, Deputy Minister of Spatial Planning & Urban Environment, K. Arsenis, Member of Parliament, S. Chionidis, Member of Parliament, Ioannis, Metropolitan of Pergamon, former President of the Academy of Athens, C. Zerefos, Member of the Academy of Athens, T. Bakogiannis, General Secretary of Spatial Planning and Urban Environment, Nikos Hardalias, General Secretary of Civil Protection, Maria Karamanof, Councilor of State and stakeholders from across the country.

The poll was conducted by the company “qed”, on behalf of ELLET, using Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI). The survey took place from 10 to 31 July 2019.
The total sample size is N = 1536 completed interviews with people aged 15-70 years old.

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