Acting on a daily basis
Citizens think that taking actions can be difficult in their everyday lives, it’s even more accurate they have with a restrictive or financial impact
The individual actions tested (prioritizing seasonal fruits and vegetables, limiting heating or air conditioning in their home, avoiding traveling by car…) are still generally not well integrated into everyday life on a global level: only sorting waste is carried out systematically or almost by half the population questioned. In contrast, traveling by bike (16%), using domestic renewable energies (18%) are the 2 actions carried out least systematically or almost by the respondents on a global level, and these actions are carried out even less by the French (respectively 10% and 14%).
Information continues to be crucial. Hence among citizens who are sure that they know what to do (1 out of 5 citizens), these actions are more widespread: 55% of respondents who are sure that they know what to do to fight climate change systematically carry out at least four of the tested actions vs 14% of those who have no idea what to do.
However, the question might be raised as to how possible it is for citizens to carry out these various actions in their respective countries. Hence, selective sorting is highly developed in certain countries, such as France, due to a very proactive public policy: thus, 81% of French people systematically sort their waste, i.e. 30 points higher than the global average. More generally, in 7 out of 10 cases, the level of integration of actions on a day-to-day basis, like choosing seasonal fruits and vegetables (61% vs 43%), is stronger in France than the global average.
Moreover, the measures that could be implemented by governments are still not well accepted by the public: they are even less well accepted when their impact on citizens is restrictive and financial. For example, measures taken with regard to electricity production by developing renewable energies or replacing coal/fuel-oil-fired power plants with gas-fired power plants enjoy a very high acceptance rate, respectively 86% and 68%. However, acceptability decreases greatly when taxes are involved (51% think it is acceptable to impose a higher tax on household waste and 52% to make products manufactured abroad more expensive) along with travel restrictions (47% think it is acceptable to introduce a tax on plane tickets and 46% to set up an urban tollbooth at the entrance to big cities, for example). This applies even more in the case of low incomes: hence, 49% of respondents on the lowest incomes think it is acceptable to “increase the tax on household waste to encourage less waste” (vs 60% of respondents with the highest incomes) and 57% of respondents with the lowest incomes think it is acceptable “to oblige owners to insulate their homes” (vs 68% of respondents with the highest incomes).