The mood surrounding the UN climate conference in Austria is very pessimistic: a large majority do not believe climate change can be controlled. Meanwhile, 39% believe that one can live well even with a three-degree rise in temperature.
The current climate conference in Dubai (COP28) gives the Austrian people little hope that breakthroughs in global climate policy can be achieved there. This is shown by a survey conducted by the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW) as part of the Current Science Barometer.
87% of Austrians expect few results from COP28. Interest is therefore low: nearly three-quarters of those surveyed have almost no interest in it. Only 11% believe we are “on the right track” towards controlling climate change. But that should not be a priority for a relatively large group anyway: 39% believe that humanity can still live well even with average global temperatures above three degrees.
In fact, the international community set an official target of 1.5 degrees at the Paris conference in 2015. This expects to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 43 percent by 2030. But for now, this goal seems out of reach: according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, We are currently on a path that will lead to only a 2% decline by 2030. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, COP28 must initiate an urgent “tipping point.”
Commitment is paradoxical
According to the poll, Austrians’ willingness to participate in climate protection varies greatly. Three-quarters of them can imagine repairing more, buying less new and using products longer. More than two-thirds of those surveyed are also relying more on regional products, and more than half can imagine switching to more climate-friendly heating systems. 46% would be willing to give up air travel and long-distance travel. But with measures such as a 100 km/h speed limit on motorways (39% would be against it) or the phasing out of combustion engines, the desire for personal commitment decreases (49% against it).
In light of the apparent resignation shown by the survey, ÖAW President Heinz Fassmann calls for more optimistic communication: “We must therefore motivate more in our communications about climate change instead of raising alarm, and we must continue to provide fact-based information and show options to solve the problem.” . Fassman said in a quoted broadcast. Otherwise, the consequences will be climate change suppression or even denial.
The topic of climate change has reached the Austrian population and also the fact that it is man-made. However, 40% believe there are more pressing problems for Austria. Climate change is clearly a top priority for only one in five people. Overall, climate change ranked fourth out of six topics surveyed, behind the health and care system and the fight against poverty. Immigration and education rank further behind.
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