Amid civil unrest on the government's handling of the coronavirus outbreak, a crisis which has affected the country in its entirety, the Israel Democracy Institute sought to find out Israeli's opinion on government involvement on another crisis that has the potential to affect the whole country: climate change.
Within the context of the coronavirus, the institute's Center for Governance and Economy conducted a survey based on a representative sample of the nation's employed population, which included 757 respondents. Respondents were asked if and how the government should act to improve the Israeli economy’s preparedness for climate crisis, in addition to whether the coronavirus increased their concern over climate change.
Of the 757 respondents, 361 were men and 396 were women – 48% and 52% of the sample, respectively. However, the sample was later adjusted to reflect the current distribution of men and women in the labor force in Israel, of which 53% are men (1,981,832 workers), and 47% are women (1,746,179 workers).
When asked if Israel's government should act to improve the economy’s preparedness for the climate crisis, 89% responded that the government should take action, and only 5% responded that no action is needed. The remaining 5% answered that they didn't know.
Among the 89% who believed that the government should take action, 24% of respondents said that the main issue that needs to be dealt with is the economy's competitiveness, while 21% stated that it should focus on improving transportation infrastructure.
Meanwhile, the opinion of the remaining surveyors were equally divided into three groups. One group responded that the government should focus on green building, another responded that the government needs to work on improving public space in cities, while the last responded that the government should focus on lowering energy costs.
Respondents were then asked how the government should make the changes to the climate budget. About 46% of the respondents stated that the coronavirus crisis heightened their concern with regard to the dangers of the climate crisis, compared with 54% who indicated that the issue had no impact on the level of their concern.
Lastly, respondents were asked if the coronavirus crisis increased their concern regarding the dangers of the climate crisis.
The percentage reporting that the global pandemic has heightened their concern about the dangers of the climate crisis dropped with level of education. Those who reported an increase in concern over the climate crisis included 41% of those with academic education; 48% of those with technological training; and 52% of respondents categorized as "other."
Similar to education, the percentage of those reporting greater concern gradually decreases with age: from 54% among 18- to 24-year-olds, to 47% between the ages of 25-44, and 37% between the ages of 55 and 64. At age 65 and above, the percentage reporting that the coronavirus crisis increased their concern about the dangers of climate crisis rises to 52%.
Moreover, 28% of the survey respondents believe that the climate crisis is linked to the coronavirus, compared to 42% who do not think there is a connection, and about 30% who responded that they do not know.
The percentage of those who believe that such a connection exists, also decreased with age: from 37% between the ages of 18 and 24 to 21% between the ages of 55 and 64, rising again to 28% among those age 65 and older.