‘Many Dutch willing to give up flying for climate’

Many Dutch people are most willing to give up flying if it contributes to a better climate, but least to leave the car alone. The European Investment Bank (EIB) reports this on the basis of their annual climate survey. After that, stop eating meat, video streaming and buying new clothes are among the top five things Dutch are willing to give up for climate change.

42 percent of the Dutch say they want to give up flying, compared with 10 percent who say they want to leave the car. Especially elderly people and people living in rural areas find this difficult. Most of the people (67 percent) already say they eat less meat, another 19 percent say they want to give up. There is little difference between men and women, except for clothing and meat eating. Women are much more inclined to stop eating meat, but less inclined not to buy new clothes. In men, its exactly the other way around.

Three quarters of young people aged between 15 and 29 say they are motivated to work for a better climate. Remarkably enough, relatively many young people say they want to fly again when the pandemic is over. Young people find it most difficult to quit video streaming services. Servers and networks use a lot of energy, which in turn creates greenhouse gas emissions as long as the majority of electricity is produced with fossil fuels.

Almost three-quarters of the Dutch say they are working to tackle the climate crisis, but only 9 percent of the Dutch are actually making radical changes in their own lifestyle. โ€œThis study shows that on the one hand there is considerable willingness to address the climate crisis, but on the other hand that the radical changes people want to make are much less,โ€ says Els Sweeney-Bindels, head of the Amsterdam EIB office.

In addition, the EIB welcomes the fact that over a fifth of Dutch people want to fly less due to climate change and over a third want to go on holiday in their own country due to reduction in emissions. โ€œPeople seem to think about it. And I would call no more flying a radical change.โ€

However, Dutch people only seem willing to show climate-friendly behaviour if this does not affect their comfort or requires no extra effort. โ€œOnly 18 percent are willing to pay CO2 compensation for flying. As soon as it costs, the readiness goes down,โ€ says Sweeney-Bindels.