Compared to the older generation, young Europeans are more willing to significantly change their lifestyle in an effort to protect the planet, while older generations are more willing to make only minor changes. According to the Guardian, this is the main message of a survey conducted for the British newspaper by YouGov this August in Great Britain, France, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Spain and Italy.
The survey showed that, across age categories, smaller changes such as increasing the amount of greenery in one’s own home, buying only seasonal fruits and vegetables, or not buying products wrapped in single-use plastics are generally the most popular.
You can see in the graph that these minor changes are slightly more strongly supported by the older generation. In terms of willingness to make significant lifestyle changes, the opposite is true, and the differences are even greater.
For example, 28% of people in the 18-24 age group and 30% of the 25-34 group said that they have already adjusted or are willing to adjust their parenting plans in the future and have reduced or will reduce the number of children they plan to have due to climate change. Among the older generations, less than a fifth of those surveyed were positive about such a step. However, it can be assumed that many of them have already reached the planned number of children.
There was also a significant difference in the issue of transport. The willingness to give up driving was confirmed by 54% of respondents between the ages of 18 and 24, while 45% of those over 65 would be satisfied with public transport, walking or cycling. 41% of the youngest group are willing to buy an electric car, while only 21% of the oldest surveyed.
When it comes to cars, the Guardian also observed significant differences between individual countries. According to the survey, 58% of the French, 57% of the Italians, 56% of the Germans, 40% of the British, 39% of the Swedes and 35% of the Danes are willing to give up driving.
Only 21% of 18 to 24-year-olds across countries are willing to stop or have already stopped eating meat and dairy products. However, this is still much more than in the other groups – only 17% of people between the ages of 55 and 64 responded positively, and only 13% in the oldest group. In addition, the youngest group also had the highest share of people willing to pay extra for air tickets (30%) and buy only second hand (35%).
Younger generations are also more likely to support more radical political decisions. For example, 46% of people from the youngest group would be willing to support a ban on the sale of gasoline and diesel cars, while only 28% of people in the 55 to 64 group and 22% of people over 65 would be willing to support it.