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Monitor Election and Social Research

Forgoing for the sake of the climate?

Representative survey on attitudes toward climate protection and climate-friendly behaviour among the German population

Which age groups and party supporters are particularly concerned about climate protection? Who says they behave in a climate-friendly way in everyday life? Do age groups differ in their diet or in their decision to forego cars and airplanes? Which party following is dominated by meat lovers? Which supporters prefer vegetarian food? The Konrad Adenauer Foundation addresses these and other questions with the help of representative survey data and qualitative in-depth interviews. This much should be anticipated: Some of the results are surprising.

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The results of this study highlight two points very clearly: Firstly, the issue of climate is of great importance to people in Germany. Secondly, this applies to all age groups. A sometimes proclaimed generational conflict between old and young is not reflected in representative surveys. Contrary to expectations, older age groups even state more frequently than younger age groups that climate protection is very important to them and that they behave in a climate-friendly manner in their everyday life.

Some key findings of our study are:

  • Climate protection is very important to all age groups. Older age groups (over 55) even state this more frequently than the younger ones. According to their own statements, older generations pay more attention to environmentally and climate-friendly behaviour in everyday life than younger generations.


  • The issue of climate protection is also very important within all party constituencies - with the exception of the AfD.


  • Climate change due to global warming is perceived as the greatest threat in various contexts. Fear is particularly high among young women.


  • Young people are more concerned about vegetarian/vegan food than older people. Around one-third of 16- to 25-year-olds eat a (predominantly) vegetarian diet. 


  • Meat lovers are found among all party supporters. Their share is highest among AfD voters: more than one in two people with an AfD preference considers a meat-based diet important. Green voters, on the other hand, prefer vegetarian food.


Read the entire study “Forgoing for the sake of the climate? Representative survey on attitudes toward climate protection and climate-friendly behaviour among the German population” here as PDF.

Please note, to date the study is only available in German.

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Contact Person

Dominik Hirndorf

Dominik Hirndorf

Electoral and Social Research +49 30 26996-3858


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About this series

The publications of the Election and Social Research Monitor are part of our Monitor publication series. The Monitor series deals with one main topic at a time from the perspective of KAS experts and places it in the political and social context on the basis of a few key points.