Vast majority of Hungarians worried about climate change
According to research by ALTEO, 87% of Hungarians are worried about climate change. Respondents identified deforestation, climate change, and air pollution as the most serious environmental problems the country is facing.
The representative survey was carried out by ALTEO Group to assess the knowledge and attitudes of the Hungarian population towards environmental protection.
Some 92% of respondents admit to being interested in environmental protection, and 82% believe that environmental problems have a direct impact on their lives. While 63% of respondents believe that the environment is so important that the fate of future generations depends on it, nearly a third are not convinced that it is one of the most important things people should be doing at the moment. The results show that 87% of respondents are somewhat worried about climate change, with 31% very worried about the potential consequences. This is particularly the case for people in Budapest and those with university degrees, who are the most aware of the threats to our planet.
The research also sought to identify the most well-known environmental problems in Hungary today. Most respondents highlighted the more general phenomena or those directly affecting Hungarians. The most prominent of these were air pollution (83%), excessive deforestation (81%), waste of food, water, energy and clothing (75%), climate change (73%), and global warming (71%). There were large differences in awareness between demographic groups, with waste recycling and global warming being the most well-known issues among young people aged 20-29, and waste and high carbon emissions among those with a university degree. In addition to the latter, plastic pollution was mentioned particularly often by those in Budapest, with 83% having encountered some form of plastic pollution.
However, awareness of environmental problems does not equate to how important respondents think they are, ALTEO notes.
"We have ranked this separately, with the most people concerned about excessive deforestation and the lack of planting of green vegetation. This is followed closely by global warming and air pollution, and then climate change. Many also highlighted the accumulation of used electronic goods, which are hazardous waste and whose disposal is an increasing challenge for mankind," said Beatrix Szabó, ALTEO's integrated management system head.
Some 8 out of 10 respondents believe that everyone is responsible for environmental problems and their solutions, while 19% expect companies, countries and global organizations to take meaningful action. The latter is more likely to be the case for men, while women are more likely to believe that collective responsibility is important. About 9 out of 10 people said they are taking action to tackle the problems themselves, and nearly half of them believe that companies are doing their part to protect the environment. The top three things that Hungarians are doing to ensure a greener future are collecting waste, avoiding wasting energy, water and food, and cutting back on shopping. The use of renewable energy is mentioned by 1 in 10 households, while 4% of respondents drive an electric or hybrid car. Overall, people aged 50 and over and those with higher education are the most active environmentalists.
"At ALTEO, we believe that everyone should do their part for a liveable future, the first step of which is collective thinking and dialogue. As a leading energy services company, we are committed to sustainable development; to preserving natural, social and economic resources for future generations. From the very beginning, we have made decisions that take into account the sustainability triangle of environmental, social and financial aspects. This is why, in keeping with our tradition, we are publishing our Integrated Sustainability Report this year, which will provide a detailed and accessible account of the actions we are taking to ensure a sustainable future," Szabó added.
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