Attitude towards air pollution
The realisation that the impacts of air pollution represent a serious threat is an essential prerequisite for ensuring that people support measures aimed at reducing air pollution and also adapt their behaviour accordingly.
However, a positive attitude does not necessarily give rise to appropriate behaviour. If another form of behaviour is perceived as more beneficial – e.g. cost-saving, time-saving or more convenient – this can take precedence over behaviour aimed at reducing air pollution. In addition, inappropriate habits or social expectations can also hamper the required behaviour.
In 2015, almost half the participants in the survey (45%) expressed the view that much more needs to be done in order to reduce air pollution, while 36% felt that “a little more” needs to be done. Only 7% were of the opinion that less action than is currently being taken is required to reduce air pollution.
In the view of the respondents, the greatest need for action applies at the individual level: 42% stated that each individual person needs to do more to reduce air pollution, 32% felt that responsibility lies with the government and politicians, and only 22% called for a contribution from trade and industry. This is all the more surprising in view of the fact that several answers were possible here. The respondents did not have to decide for themselves to whom responsibility should be allocated.
80% of the participants in the survey also stated that they would definitely or probably be prepared to pay more for products if this would help reduce air pollution. While this does not necessarily mean that all these people would in fact do so, it is nonetheless a good indicator for a fundamental attitude.
People who are sensitised to the problem of air pollution will tend to adopt a more open stance towards measures to reduce it. Their awareness is likely to give rise to a readiness to reconsider and adapt their own actions. This indicator may therefore be classified as positive.
The data originate from a survey (Univox Umwelt) carried out by gfs-zürich in 2015. It was conducted by telephone and encompassed a broad variety of aspects of environmental pollution, awareness of the environment and ecologically-relevant behaviour. The random sample (N=1013) complies with the principle of representativeness.
The indicator records the proportion of respondents (in %) who are of the opinion that more needs to be done to reduce air pollution, and the number (in %) who would be prepared to pay more for products if this would help reduce air pollution.