Britain’s Restless Society for the Elderly asked 500 members if they would be willing to pay more if it led to a more progressive climate policy. The result is surprising: 78 percent of people over 50 want more climate policies and 65 percent would like to pay more for goods or services if the policy were implemented.
These are great numbers, showing that the idea that people are afraid of rising costs because of the climate may not be true. In the Netherlands, politicians such as Thierry Baudt (Forum for Democracy) and Mark Rutte (VVD) have raised the costs as an argument against (accelerating) climate policy, as a higher CO2 tax from the EU has little effect on the Dutch economy. “The Dutch economy can handle this just fine,” director Olaf Selegen told de Volkskrant.
The Netherlands and the costs of the climate
Now the UK is not the same country as the Netherlands. But there are also figures for Dutch elderly people. Statistics Netherlands has conducted a large-scale study of views on climate change. The agency found that young people are more likely to see climate change as a major problem than older adults. However, this is mainly because young people are often highly educated and highly educated people consider climate more important. Older people often worry that climate policy will cost a lot of money.
And the Eenvandaag opinion panel showed in 2019 that the elderly are primarily afraid of the costs of the climate, while the young are afraid of wet feet. The reliability of the opinion panel is debated, but among the group of 35 or older, more than half said they had no concerns about climate change.
KBO-PCOB, the largest association for the elderly in the Netherlands, examined the opinions of its members in 2019. This shows that older people consider sustainability important: at least 92 percent of the 1,300 respondents (average age: 74 years) consider Sustainability is an important topic. But costs also seem to be a problem for older adults. Not only do 80 percent think relocation costs are too high for citizens (which the PBL also noted), in a roundtable discussion by the organization, seniors noted that getting funding for sustainability can be more difficult when you are. Older.
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