site.btaMost Bulgarians Are Calling for Fair Policies to Address Climate Emergency, European Investment Bank Survey Shows
With economic disparities ranked as the third most significant challenge for Bulgarians, most residents of this country are calling for fair policies to address the climate emergency, according to the sixth Climate Survey released by the European Investment Bank (EIB) on Tuesday. 72% (compared to 68% on average in the European Union) said the transition to a low-carbon economy can only happen if social and economic inequalities are addressed at the same time. However, only 28% of respondents said they are confident in the Government’s ability to carry out such a just climate transition, the survey conducted between August and September 2023 found.
Running since 2018, the EIB Climate Survey offers insights into the climate change-related views of people in major economies around the world, with more than 30 000 respondents in the European Union, the US, China, India, Japan, the UK, UAE, Canada, and South Korea. The EIB is the lending arm of the European Union and the world’s largest multilateral lender for climate action projects.
The results of the survey show that after another challenging year marked not only by inflation but also by record heatwaves and droughts as well as severe floods, Bulgarians have become more acutely aware of the profound impact of climate change and the need for immediate action. While the rising cost of living is considered the number one challenge for Bulgarians (70% of respondents place it in the top three concerns for their country, slightly above the EU average), followed by political instability (56%) and income inequalities (42%), climate change impacts and environmental degradation came in fourth position, with 30% considering them a major concern (20 points below the EU average of 50%).
The question of compensation to developing countries to help them deal with the impacts of climate change is expected to be a central topic at the 2023 UN Climate Change Conference in Dubai (COP28), EIB added. However, Bulgarians are split on whether to extend aid beyond their borders to support the countries most vulnerable to climate change and ensure a global just transition to a climate-neutral and resilient future. 44% of respondents (16 points below the EU average of 60%) agreed that the country should financially compensate affected nations to help them fight climate change.
Survey results show that 61% of Bulgarians (2 points above the EU average of 59%) would be willing to pay more income tax to help lower-income households cope with the costs of a green transition. 49% would agree to pay an extra 1-2% of their income and 12% would agree to an extra 5-10%.
Most Bulgarian respondents said they would also be in favour of other kinds of climate-related taxes. For example, 76% said they would favour a fossil fuel tax reform to eliminate subsidies and tax breaks for the aviation sector and other industries that rely heavily on fossil fuels.