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Climate change the ‘biggest worry’ for people in Germany

CLIMATE CRISIS

According to a new Forsa poll, fears about climate change are one of the most common sources of worry for Germans – followed by the war in Ukraine and soaring energy prices.

Published: 25 November 2022 11:54 CET

Steam rises from a nuclear power plant in Bavaria. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Armin Weigel

According to the opinion survey conducted at the beginning of November, 59 percent of Germans are worried that climate change will have an increasingly frequent and stronger impact on everyday life – for example, through extreme weather events and natural disasters.

Just over half – or 53 percent – were worried that the Russian war of aggression on Ukraine would spread to other countries or even lead to a third world war. Meanwhile, 52 were worried that their own financial situation will be worsened by the high cost of electricity and energy products.

Following the attacks on the Nord Stream pipelines earlier this year, 51 percent of respondents said they feared that cyberattacks could hit other parts of Germany’s critical infrastructure in the future.

Alongside high energy prices, the general cost of living was also a concern for many, with 44 percent saying they worried about their financial health and the soaring cost of groceries.

Finally, 42 percent were kept awake by the prospect that Germany could run out of gas for households and businesses this winter. Germany managed to fill its gas storage facilities to 100 percent ahead of the heating season, but experts have warned that reducing consumption will still be necessary.

READ ALSO: Majority of Germans worried about ‘major war in Europe’

No pandemic fears

The latest survey marks a noticeable shift in public opinion since 2020 and 2021, when the Covid pandemic was still a dominant fear in people’s minds. 

Since then, climate fears, the war in Ukraine, and the cost of living appear have taken over as the biggest topics troubling the population. 

The Forsa poll was commissioned by civil servants’ association DBB, who warned that the public were losing trust in the protective function of the state. 

Ursula Silberbach, who is currently seeking re-election as chair of DBB, expressed alarm at the results.

“I think neither the traffic light coalition nor the opposition have understood how serious the situation really is,” she told DPA.

The union leader, whose organisation represents public service workers, called for a special fund and investment plan to improve the infrastructure and equipment of public service. 



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