TALLINN - Almost two-thirds of Estonian citizens do not support meeting the European Union's climate goals if this means a severalfold increase in electricity prices, the results of a recent survey show.
In the survey, the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues examined how people view climate targets in the context of high electricity prices.
Respondents were asked: "Do you support meeting the European Union's climate targets even if this leads to a severalfold increase in electricity prices?" Sixty-three percent of those surveyed answered "no" and 37 percent said "yes" or "rather yes."
Of voters of the Reform Party and the Social Democratic Party, respectively 60 percent and 55 percent continued to support the climate targets even if they resulted in electricity becoming several times more expensive. On the other hand, 54, 81, 85 and 95 percent of supporters of Estonia 200, the Center Party, Isamaa and the Estonian Conservative People's Party (EKRE), respectively, would oppose meeting the climate targets if electricity prices multiplied.
This result suggests that high electricity prices will reduce support for climate objectives in society, the institute noted.
For example, in October 2019, the institute asked people in a survey whether they were in favor of the goal of achieving climate neutrality in Estonia by 2050. Then 70 percent of respondents were in favor of this goal.
In addition, it was asked in the latest poll whether the Estonian government should stand up for it in the European Union that the implementation of climate policy would not lead to a sharp rise in electricity and fuel prices for consumers and businesses. To that question, 89 percent of respondents replied "yes" or "rather yes" and 11 percent "rather no" or "no."
Hence, people in Estonia expect the government to act at European Union level to keep electricity prices under control, the institute said.
The flash survey was conducted on Sept. 20 among Estonian citizens aged 18 and older and a total of 500 respondents were interviewed by pollster Norstat. The Norstat flash survey is an online survey that is conducted within the span of a few days to find out the current state of public opinion on topical issues in a minimum amount of time.