Public Attitudes on the Green Transition

Risk of Greenlash in G7 Countries: Almost All People Want a Green Transition, But Are Not As Convinced This Will Benefit Them

GlobeScan’s exploration of public attitudes around the transition to a low-carbon future comes at a time when farmers in Europe have hit the streets to demand relief from what they see as unfair climate change policies, bureaucracy, and crop prices. In a historic election year, conservative and far-right politicians are also stirring a backlash against green policies in many countries.

Our Radar public opinion survey shows that although people around the world almost universally view the transition to a green economy as being necessary, some think that the green transition will not benefit them personally. While most people do say that the effect of a green transition would be positive for themselves and their families, there is less agreement on personal benefit than on whether the transition is needed. In countries like France, Germany, the UK, and the USA, there are significant gaps between the size of the proportions saying the transition is needed and the proportions believing the transition will be beneficial to their own lives. In those same countries, additional survey data show that relatively small but potentially influential and growing proportions worry about the negative effects of a green transition on their own lives.


We cannot take people’s support for green policies for granted. Unless it is demonstrated more clearly how climate policies deliver solutions that benefit people in their day-to-day lives, there is a risk of backlash against green policies and of retrenching in the status quo. This sentiment may spread and grow over time if direct positive impacts from green policies fail to materialize. 

Survey Question:

Q1. In the past few years, some societies have begun shifting from fossil-based energy (e.g., oil, gas, coal) to renewable sources of energy (e.g., wind, water, solar) to address climate change. This is often called the transition to the green economy. How much would you say the shift to the green economy is needed?

Q2. Speaking about you personally, how would this shift to the green economy affect your life, and the life of your family?

Source: GlobeScan Radar Trends Report (survey of 29,565 people in the general public across 31 countries and territories in July ‒ August 2023)

More about Radar: Based on a largely representative online survey of nearly 30,000 people across 31 countries and territories, Radar draws upon GlobeScan’s unique database of over two decades of polling public opinion about people’s outlook toward societal actors and the issues affecting them.