Germans half as likely to support climate movement, study

ER Editor: Sanity looks like it’s returning judging by these results. The article below is machine-translated.


Germans half as likely to support climate movement, study


ENVIRONMENT – The climate movement is losing popularity in Germany, according to a study conducted by a non-governmental organization (NGO) with one of the world’s leading institutes for marketing and opinion research.

34% of the population supports the environmental protection movements in 2023 compared to 68% in 2021.

The relationship between the citizens of this neighboring country and its activists is deteriorating since 75% of the people questioned blame the climate and environmental movement for no longer caring about the well-being of German society. A loss of popularity and support mainly caused by the actions of environmental activists “that go too far” in their protest.  

Based in many countries such as France and Germany, the NGO “More in Common” regularly conducts opinion polls on the climate debate, in collaboration with one of the world leaders in the marketing research market. and opinion, Kantar Public.

Its latest study, carried out in May of this year and published on Thursday July 27 (ER: browsers will translate from the German), shows results at half mast compared to the data collected during the previous version in 2021.

Only a third of the population supports environmentalists 

“The social image of the climate movement has changed significantly,” it reads. Between May 9 and May 24, 2023, 2,016 people aged 18 and over were asked about their perception of the climate movement. “ In our large study in 2021, we obtained results that gave us reason to hope: concerns about climate change were widely shared by the population”, explains More In Common, which evokes the “impressions” of the young people’s demonstrations, led by a certain Greta Thunberg, on “different segments of the population”. 

The situation has “significantly changed” in the past two years and these changes “are significant”This new study reveals that public support for environmental activists has fallen drastically, from 68% in 2021 to just 34% in 2023. Of those polled, only 25% consider that the climate and environment movement keeps in spirit “the well-being of society as a whole”. Many people who two years ago considered the climate movement to be beneficial to society as a whole “apparently no longer do so”, comments this NGO.

The statistics revealed on its website bring out another astonishing fact: this decline in support and popularity is not only evident in one category in particular but in all of the “six social types” of individuals surveyed by “More In Common”. “All sections of society are much more critical of the climate movement today than they were two years ago”, including among the “people involved”, the “open-minded”, or even “the pragmatic”, “the disappointed” and those who are “angry”.

What about the sympathy already expressed by the population with regard to the activists? This seems to be dissipating since the gap between the two parties “has increased”. Moreover, the proportion of citizens who think that the movement for the climate and the environment “is open to the involvement of people like me” has fallen by more than half (from 63% in 2021 to 29% this year, editor’s note). 72% of those questioned believe that the movement emits an “incomprehensible discourse”.

Protest actions, the main point of restraint 

The protest actions of these activists also provoke the irritation of the Germans. According to this study, 85% of those questioned consider that the movement “often goes too far in its actions”.

In recent months, the “protectionists”, especially those considered to be “the most radical” , have been blocking transport infrastructure such as highways, airports or ports. Last July 13, members of the “Last Generation” movement blocked the runways of Düsseldorf and Hamburg airports to “protest against the government’s lack of planning against the climate crisis. Faced with actions of civil disobedience carried out repeatedly by “Last Generation”, the German government opened an investigation in May for “training or support of a criminal organization”, seizing its accounts and assets as a result of search warrants being issued.

Environmental activities are also targeting energy installations, as was the case in Germany in January, during a demonstration against the extension of a coal mine, in which Greta Thunberg had participated and during which she was arrested by the security forces before being released. On July 24, the Swedish activist was also sentenced by the courts of her country to a fine for having disobeyed the police. On June 19, she had, with other activists, blocked access to the port of Malmö and its tankers for 6 days, in order to protest against the use of fossil fuels.

Protests that often lead to clashes between activists and law enforcement or even citizens, who express their exasperation with roadblocks or other facilities. If the people interviewed by “More In Common” recognize the “fundamental need for strong action” for climate protection, they do not consider that the reason “climate emergency” justifies such actions.

This organization recalls having already warned in its study in 2021 against the risk that “things could go wrong”:

“It is a mistake to position people against each other along cultural lines. This ( … ) can damage the positive perception that exists in people’s minds about climate protection. It’s more about knowing how to succeed in protecting the environment than to know which side you’re on . “




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