Climate or economic growth, which one is more important? Fighting climate change and pursuing sustainable economic growth are both part of the UN Sustainable Development goals, to which UN countries committed in 2015. There is however a certain tension between these two goals, and choices likely have to be made. Will protecting the environment prevail on economic growth?
The urgent need for climate action is a widespread concern in many European countries. This ING survey covered 13 countries, and nearly three out of four of all respondents said they believe protecting the environment should be given priority, even at the cost of economic growth. This belief is strongest in Romania, where 87 percent of respondents shared such a sentiment. And even in the lowest-scoring country, the Netherlands, still over half of the survey respondents stated to believe climate change should be prioritized over economic growth. A clear message to Europe’s governments: protecting the environment should be a top priority in the nearby future.