Support initiative “Corona & Sustainability”

Project “Environmental Awareness and Risk Perception in Times of Corona”, Bielefeld University

The SARS-CoV2 pandemic has created a global emergency situation that has a significant impact on the daily lives of the population. While the health risks and consequences of Covid-19 disease affect a specific segment of the population, the economic and political measures, particularly the lock down, affect the entire population.

The discussion about the urgency of implementing sustainable economic concepts and environmental policy measures has come back into the public focus with the SARS-CoV2 pandemic. Contributing factors have been the observation of positive effects of economic lockdown on the environment (for example, through reduced energy demand and reduced pollutant emissions), as well as new insights into the links between pandemic emergence and ongoing global environmental degradation.

Whether the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic will have a long-term impact on the environment and people’s environmental awareness cannot yet be estimated based on current data.

The aim of the project is therefore to assess the importance of environmental issues in the context of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic among the German population and to examine whether the relevance of the environment as an issue and personal perceptions of environmental risks have changed as a result of this new situation.

Taking into account the concept of “Planetary Health”, the empirical survey will focus on the following topics:

  1. Respondents’ concern with the Corona pandemic,
  2. Knowledge of interrelationships of global environmental problems and health risks,
  3. Knowledge and attitudes about environmental problems and risk perception,
  4. Trust in politics, science and business (e.g. status, credibility),
  5. Evaluation of policies at the time of the pandemic.

The model character of the project lies in the consideration of environmental and health awareness as well as the perception of environmental risks in the general population in times of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.

Project topic

Environmental Awareness and Risk Perception in Times of the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic in Germany.

Project implementation

Bielefeld University, Faculty of Medicine OWL, AG 1 – Environmental Health Sciences
Univ.-Prof. Dr. med. Claudia Hornberg, Graduate Biologist/Diploma Ecologist
Phone: 0521 106-67423


15.07.2020 – 14.09.2021

File number

DBU-AZ 37036

Status: 29.07.2020