Press Release

European elections: climate change-related issues important to nine out of ten Belgians

European union flags

A new survey released today reveals 92% of potential voters in Belgium rate issues related to global warming as important or very important when deciding who to vote for in the European elections.

The survey, carried out with potential voters across 11 European countries, also reveals environmental protection and European leadership on climate action are key issues for a large majority of potential voters.

Download the results here.

When deciding which party to vote for:

  • 92% think it is important (or very important) for a political party to tackle at least one issue related to climate change such as reduce air pollution, protect the environment, make our agriculture more sustainable, tackle global warming or protect against extreme weather events.
  • Three Belgians out of four (76%) think it is important or very important that a party prioritise actions against global warming.
  • Climate change is a decisive factor when choosing who to vote for, regardless of geographic location.

These results come after the May 9th meeting of the 27 EU Heads of State and Government in Sibiu, Romania where the absence of climate as a priority was largely highlighted. Ahead of the European elections of 26th May, these results send a clear message to decision-makers: climate action is an election issue for voters and should be central to the next strategic agenda of the EU.

Quotes

Quentin Genard, Acting Head of Brussels office at E3G said:

“Belgians expect more climate action from political parties. If they want to send representatives into the European Parliament, they must show proof of good faith. Actions against climate change should become a core mission in the European Union to answer the citizens’ call.”

Dave Van Meel, Program director of Greenpeace Belgium said:

“The vast majority of Belgians have clearly understood that climate warming must be a political and social priority. Belgians are ready for a transition to sustainable agriculture, energy and mobility. It is the political leaders' mission to ensure that this change is also socially fair, so that no one is left behind. "

Mathias Bienstman, Beleidscoördinator at Bond Beter Leefmilieu said:

"This opinion poll is in line with previous ones. A large majority of Belgians are concerned about climate change and expect a stronger environmental policy, for example to reduce air pollution or to make agriculture sustainable. Parties who take this signal seriously and come up with substantiated proposals will, in our opinion, score well in the elections."

About the survey

This European Elections study of potential voters, commissioned by the European Climate Foundation, was carried out by Ipsos MORI in January 2019 with online samples of 2,000 potential voters aged 18 – 65 in each of 11 European countries (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia and Spain). 16 – 65 were interviewed in Austria, 18 – 59s in Poland and 18 – 50s in Slovakia. National samples were weighted to be representative of the adult population in each country and participants saying they are not at all likely to vote at the next European Parliament elections excluded from the research.

Total figures are averages across the 11 countries (treating each country as equal).