In the long term, the climate crisis will have a greater impact on the economy and society than the corona crisis. This view is shared by more than half of all German citizens (59 percent). Another 23 percent estimate the long-term consequences of both crises to be equally high. These are the results of a representative survey commissioned by the DBU and conducted by forsa Politik- und Sozialforschung, Berlin, among a total of 1,029 people aged 14 and over between 27 and 30 April 2020. The aim of this DBU environmental monitor "Corona Consequences" was to find out more about the views and assessments of German citizens of the corona crisis and to derive consequences for environmental and climate protection.
In order to obtain in parallel an opinion of its project partners on the topic "Corona crisis and sustainability", the DBU started an online survey, in which 686 people participated in the period from 30 April to 7 May 2020. The majority of DBU project participants work in companies, research institutions, clubs, associations and educational institutions. Here, the assessment of the climate crisis was even clearer than that of the corona crisis: 84 percent of those surveyed assume that the climate crisis will have a stronger impact on society and the economy in the long term.
In both surveys, the participants clearly advocate a more important role for science: 93 percent of citizens would like to see the opinions and analyses of science included in decision-making processes to a greater extent than before - for example, on issues of climate protection. Among the project partners, this figure is as high as 96 percent.
Similarly, a large majority of those surveyed in both studies agree that investment programmes should focus on protecting the environment and the climate, reducing the extinction of species, promoting the regional economy and social justice, and promoting innovation. Nearly all of the DBU project participants surveyed (97 percent) vote in favour of taking environmental and climate protection aspects into account when launching economic stimulus packages.
The energy for our life and work should preferably come from sustainable sources - also in order to become less dependent on oil and gas imports: 78 percent of the population and 88 percent of the project partners would therefore like to push ahead with the expansion of renewable energies.
When asked to reassess internal company areas and processes due to corona restrictions, 82 percent of DBU partner companies stated that they valued digital structures and work opportunities more highly. The answers from the general public point in the same direction: almost three-quarters of citizens believe that working from home (home office) should be a permanent feature of the working world in future. According to 86 percent, meetings and conferences should also be held increasingly by video or telephone "after Corona" and business trips should be avoided as far as possible.
Further results from both surveys and a download option can be found at: https://www.dbu.de/coronafolgen
translated by DeepL