Germans see incentives as best way to promote climate-friendly behavior: poll

A majority of Germans, 72 percent, advocated promoting climate-friendly behavior through the use of incentives, according to a latest DeutschlandTrend survey.

When asked what the best way would be to persuade people to adopt a more climate-conscious attitude, only 15 percent Germans supported the restriction of climate-damaging behavior by means of bans, according to the survey that was published by public broadcaster ARD on Thursday night.

Supporters of all German political parties expressed a preference for incentives over bans. Even among supporters of the German Green Party, only 23 percent thought bans would be the best way to persuade people to adopt a more climate-conscious attitude, the ARD survey found.

The most sensible climate and environmental protection measure would be the promotion of innovation and research, according to the vast majority of 97 percent of Germans surveyed.

Most German respondents were also in favor of the expansion of renewable energies as well as lower prices for rail travel.

Meanwhile, 71 percent of Germans believed that higher air fares would be a sensible climate protection measure, the DeutschlandTrend showed.

In contrast, 61 percent of Germans did not consider a price on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to be a sensible climate protection measure, according to the survey.

The German government’s climate cabinet is currently negotiating a comprehensive package to speed up the implementation of climate protection measures in the country, which will include some form of carbon price. According to the survey, one fifth of German respondents did not want to spend any additional money on environmental and climate protection.

The German Green Party (Die Gruenen), which has consistently pushed for more ambitious climate protection in Germany, was on an equal footing with the ruling conservative union CDU/CSU among voters in the ARD survey.

If German elections were held next Sunday, the Greens would receive 26 percent of the German vote, tying with the CDU/CSU, according to the survey.

The CDU/CSU’s coalition partner, the Social Democrats (SPD), would only receive 12 percent of the German vote, dropping below the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) which would receive 14 percent of the votes.

At 32 percent, the German population’s satisfaction with its government was at the level of the previous month, while around two-thirds of Germans were “less” or “not at all” satisfied with the work of the federal government, said the survey.