Despite 97 per cent of Cypriots – above the EU average – telling pollsters that environmental protection and climate change were very important to them, in practice the same survey showed the opposite was true.
According to the results of the survey, environmental and climate protection is very important for 97 per cent of Cypriots, higher than the EU average of 94 per cent, the Eurobarometer survey published on Tuesday showed.
Some 62 per cent of Cypriots said climate change was the most important environmental issue, way more than the 53 per cent of other Europeans who agreed with the statement.
Residents of Cyprus are more concerned about air pollution and increasing waste than other EU members.
More than three-quarters of Europeans, 78 per cent, agree that environmental issues have a direct impact of their daily lives and health, and 90 per cent of Cypriots.
When asked to identify the most effective ways to deal with environmental problems, the most frequently cited solution was ‘change the way we consume’, with which 43 per cent in Cyprus and 31 per cent in other EU countries agreed.
However, though the majority of Cypriots appeared to be concerned with air pollution, just 13 per cent of the sample said they had chosen more environmentally friendly transport such as walking, cycling or using public transport in the past six months, while on average 27 per cent of Europeans did.
Only 13 per cent in Cyprus have used their car less during that time period, below the EU average of 21 per cent.
While 90 per cent believe clothing should be made to last longer, a mere 4 per cent of Cypriots have bought second-hand products while the EU average stood at 21 per cent.
On the plus side, nearly half of Cypriots, 49 per cent, reported they had avoided plastic goods other than plastic bags.
Four in five respondents – 80 per cent in the EU and 76 per cent in Cyprus – also said that large companies and industry do not do enough to protect the environment and about two thirds, 67 per cent in the EU and 71 per cent in Cyprus believe that the people themselves are not doing enough.
The research was carried out between December 6 and 19, 2019. Same 27,598 EU citizens from different social and demographic categories were interviewed face-to-face in their native language.