The climate attitude of the employer is important for 81 percent of young Germans

Fridays for Future protests

Almost half of the people in Germany would support limiting the amount of meat and dairy products that are available for sale.

(Photo: IMAGO/NurPhoto)

Dusseldorf The vast majority of young employees pay attention to sustainability when choosing a job. This is shown by a recent survey published by the European Investment Bank (EIB) on Tuesday. For 81 percent of 20 to 29 year olds in Germany, the attitude of a potential employer towards the climate is an important criterion.

For 18 percent, this topic even has top priority. The climate aspect also plays a decisive role in the population as a whole. According to the study, the proportion of those who expect potential employers to pay attention to sustainability is 59 percent.

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In a European comparison, Germany is roughly in the middle with this opinion. The climate issue is most important when choosing a job for people in Portugal, where 84 percent pay attention to it. The aspect plays the smallest role in Estonia (51 percent), closely followed by Finland, Denmark and Hungary (52 percent each).

The survey also shows that most people in this country see the issue of climate protection as a challenge for the individual – and therefore advocate tougher interventions by the government. 59 percent are in favor of stricter government measures to change individual behavior. 56 percent also support the establishment of a CO2 budget against the biggest climate sins.

With such a hypothetical CO2 budget, each person would only receive a limited number of emission allowances for CO2-intensive things per year, for example meat consumption or air travel. In Germany, supporters of such a measure were distributed evenly across all income groups.

According to the Federal Environment Ministry, CO2 emissions per capita in Germany are currently 10.8 tonnes of CO2 equivalent. Of this, 20 percent is used for living and heating, another 20 percent for mobility, for example by car or plane, and 31 percent for other consumption – i.e. purchases that are not necessary for nutrition. The rest of the emissions come from electricity (five percent), food (16 percent) and public infrastructure (eight percent).

Half of the Germans for limited meat sales

Even if food is of comparatively little importance in terms of personal CO2 emissions, this topic is obviously very much in the consciousness of the public. In the EIB survey, 80 percent of Germans are in favor of labeling all food in order to protect the climate and the environment. The respective climate balance would be indicated on all food products.

Here, too, the respondents probably see a certain amount of responsibility in themselves. 61 percent would spend more money on climate-friendly food if it was produced regionally and sustainably. Here, however, income differences can be seen. Among people on low incomes, only 54 percent of respondents are willing to spend more on sustainable food. For people with higher incomes, it is 67 percent.

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Meanwhile, just under half of people in Germany would support limiting the amount of meat and dairy products available for purchase. If you only ask the under-30s, 67 percent would be in favor of such a limit.

The Vice President of the European Investment Bank, Ambroise Fayolle, recognizes in the results of the study the willingness of Germans to contribute to climate protection through their behavior. The institute also promotes accordingly: In 2022, the EIB awarded a total of 3.98 billion euros in Germany for green projects such as sustainable transport, renewable energies and energy-efficient buildings.

Despite everything, the climate-damaging emissions in Germany are still falling too slowly. According to figures from the Federal Environment Agency, CO2 emissions fell by only 1.9 percent in 2022. According to the President of the Federal Environment Agency, Dirk Messner, in order to achieve the federal government’s targets by 2030, emissions must be reduced by six percent per year from now on. Since 2010, the average has not even been two percent.

More: Greens are also aiming for an earlier exit from coal in the East.

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