Climate change tops terrorism as top global problem for Maltese

In 2011, the Maltese saw terrorism as the world’s top problem; now 33% of the country says it is climate change, and it tops the EU average

Climate change is now considered the most serious problem by a relative majority in eight countries in the EU
Climate change is now considered the most serious problem by a relative majority in eight countries in the EU

Climate change is now regarded as the top “global problem” by a relative majority of Maltese – a concern that has overtaken international terrorism when this was seen as the world’s top problem in 2011 in a similar Eurobarometer survey.

In a sign of growing environmental awareness, eight years ago just 13% of Maltese regarded climate change as the world’s greatest problem.

The percentage of Maltese who regard climate change as the top problem facing the planet has now increased by 20 percentage points since 2011.  

And this was the largest increase registered in the EU followed by an 18-point increase in Denmark and a 16-point increase in Germany.
Moreover, only 1% of Maltese (compared to 6% of all Europeans) think that climate change is not a serious problem.

Climate change is now considered the most serious problem by a relative majority in eight countries in the EU, including Sweden (50%), Denmark (47%), Finland and Malta (33%).

In five countries, international terrorism remains the top global problem, while in Italy the economic situation is mentioned as the most serious problem facing the world today. In Romania, poverty and the economic situation are equally mentioned.

The Maltese are also the most likely in Europe to say that they have taken action to fight climate change in their everyday life.

At a national level, the majority of respondents in 22 countries say they have personally taken action to fight climate change in the past six months. More than eight in ten respondents in Malta (88%), Sweden (84%), Finland (82%) and Luxembourg (81%) say this, compared to 29% in Romania, 32% in Bulgaria and 40% in Poland.

Since 2011 the percentage of Maltese who have taken some form of action to combat climate change has increase by 24 points. This was the largest increase in Europe.

What is the world's greatest problem?

  Malta EU 28
Climate change 33% 23%
Terroism 27% 15%
Porverty 15% 27%
Population 9% 7%
Economy 5% 12%
Disease 5% 3%
Wars 2% 8%
Nuclear weapons 2% 4%

When asked what action they have taken to combat climate change, 85% of Maltese say they have done so by reducing or recycling their waste while 61% avoid single-use plastics. But the Maltese were the least likely in Europe to insulate their homes. Fewer than four in ten in each country say they have insulated their home better to reduce their energy consumption, with proportions ranging from 38% in Estonia to 5% in Malta.

Yet again only 2% have taken action against climate change by buying an electric car, but 31% claim to use alternatives to the private car like car-pooling, cycling and walking on a regular basis.

Surprisingly, considering Malta’s dependence on imported gas, 44% of Maltese totally agree that reducing fossil fuel imports from outside the EU can increase energy security and benefit the EU economically.

At least four in ten respondents in Spain (50%), Ireland (47%), Malta (44%), and Portugal and Cyprus (both 40%), stand in contrast with fewer than one in five in Estonia (12%), Finland (15%) and Czechia (17%).

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