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Source: Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz DeutschlandBerlin. With good resolutions into the new year – many people plan something for the future at the turn of the year. With a view to the federal election year 2021, the Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland (BUND) asked: How great is the will to change in the population in view of the climate crisis, species extinction and environmental pollution and what do citizens expect from politics? The result of the representative survey of the Kantar Institute commissioned by BUND: A large majority in the country is ready to make significant changes in their way of life. Politicians should act. 86 percent of Germans are willing to significantly restrict their lifestyle in order to protect the climate. Around 85 percent would do this to stop species extinction and 87 percent to fight pollution. Approval is very high in all three areas, with younger people expressing an even greater willingness to change their lifestyle than older people. Women can imagine limitations more easily than men. In the period from December 15 to 17, a total of 1014 representatively selected Germans were surveyed. Climate protection, resource turnaround and the preservation of biological diversity must be at the top of the political agenda in 2021, demands the BUND. Because without a U-turn in production methods and consumer behavior, there is a risk of ecological collapse. Olaf Bandt, BUND Chairman: “2020 has shown humanity in a dramatic way its vulnerability. The climate and biodiversity crisis, environmental degradation and the overexploitation of our resources are far greater threats to our existence than the momentous corona pandemic. We are jeopardizing our future with our way of life and the way we do business, with which we operate a gigantic overexploitation of our livelihoods. We need a comprehensive socio-ecological change in order to avert the ecological collapse and to mitigate the climate catastrophe. The election year 2021 must show the way for a real turnaround in traffic, agriculture and resources. ”As a strong economic nation with a large ecological footprint, Germany has a special responsibility in the fight against major crises. Citizens want politics to act. The representative survey on behalf of BUND (see appendix) also confirms this in detail: When asked about the importance of political measures for nature and environmental protection, a total of 91 percent of those questioned said that ingredients in everyday products must be labeled as mandatory to identify chemicals that are harmful to the environment and health “Very important” or “important”. This was followed closely by the expansion of renewable energies (87 percent) and the promotion of better bus and train connections in rural and urban areas (86 percent). Also very high on the wish list are the mandatory labeling of meat, milk and eggs when feed containing genetic engineering is used in animal husbandry (82 percent), as well as binding specifications for the longevity, repairability and availability of spare parts of products (80 percent). Three quarters of the respondents (73 percent) also call on politicians to act when it comes to mandatory reusable systems for takeaway food and drinks as well as shipping packaging. 68 percent see a need for action on the prohibition of chemical-synthetic pesticides in allotments and private gardens. 37 percent are in favor of not building additional motorways. In terms of willingness to make a significant change in lifestyle for climate, biodiversity and environmental protection, the groups of 14 to 29 year olds and 30 to 39 year olds are consistently ahead of the other age groups (between a maximum of 13 percentage points and three percentage points depending on Reference group). The 40 to 49 year olds show the least willingness here. With regard to the level of education, there are hardly any differences in the answers, with students everywhere expressing the greatest willingness to change. The differences between East and West are also small. However, respondents with the lowest net household income (less than 1500 euros) are almost always ready to make major changes. From the BUND’s point of view, the results show the desire of the majority of the population for change, more nature and environmental protection and the call to politics to act boldly. Climate, biodiversity and environmental protection must finally be placed at the top of the political agenda in order to initiate a comprehensive socio-ecological transformation of society in the next legislative period. Bandt: “The election year must bring about a turning point. We need a new, socio-ecological social contract with a new economic system oriented towards the common good. The previous economic system is entirely geared towards growth. The drastic consequences of our production methods and our consumer behavior are clearly visible worldwide and also in our country with the climate crisis, the extinction of species and the resource crisis. The limits of our planet have already been exceeded at critical points. And constant growth is not fair either: the gap between rich and poor has grown in recent years. We have to radically change the way we live and do business. ”With a view to the election year, with the Bundestag election and several state elections, the political parties must become aware that steady economic growth can no longer be a goal of politics. Bandt: “The top political priority must be the preservation of the ecological basis of life. The parties must also take these goals into account with regard to the German sustainability strategy, which must finally be implemented ambitiously and effectively. A new federal government must finally tackle the crisis by its roots. Only then is there a chance of averting a collapse of nature and the climate. 2021 must give the go-ahead for a socio-ecological transformation. ”Further information: BUND demands on climate protection: In the next legislative period, Germany must finally gear its climate policy towards achieving the 1.5 degree target. To do this, we must finally phase out coal by 2030 at the latest and completely phase out oil and gas by 2040. Our resource and energy consumption must be reduced significantly. This requires an ecological transformation in which social, ecological and democratic issues have to be considered together. Germany has a special responsibility for the climate crisis and must meet it. BUND therefore calls for the economic stimulus programs to be further developed along social and ecological criteria, for the environmentally friendly expansion of renewable energies to be ambitiously promoted and for all trunk road projects to be stopped first and for their overall effects and more environmentally compatible alternatives to be checked. BUND demands to preserve biodiversity: Corona has once again shown how dependent people are on intact nature. However, the global state of nature is deteriorating rapidly, with the loss of biological diversity our livelihoods are directly threatened. This year’s government report on nature in Germany and Europe also shows that the natural crisis is just as disastrous as the climate crisis, which exacerbates this trend. Mankind must radically change course if it wants to prevent an ecological collapse of the earth. A radical change in the way we live and do business is urgently required, so the urgent warning of the World Biodiversity Council. The BUND therefore finally demands consistent financial support wherever improvements for the benefit of nature are indispensable, especially in agriculture, but also in transport policy and where protected areas do not yet adequately protect nature. This must be accompanied by the end of environmentally harmful subsidies, the significant reduction in pesticides, the ban on pesticides in protected areas as well as in private and allotment gardens. Consumers also need to be certain of what the animals are being fed and whose milk, eggs or meat they are consuming. That is why we continue to demand mandatory labeling of animal foods if GM feed was used in animal feed, and biodiversity rules for supply chains. Flanked by a diet based much more on plant-based foods, an agricultural turnaround can be promoted. BUND demands on resources: The effects of the waste of resources, our system geared towards economic growth, are massive. It is the engine behind the other ecological problems because it is responsible for over 90 percent of the loss of biodiversity and 50 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. Recycling will not solve this problem. We therefore need a radical turnaround in resources that, for example, puts waste prevention in the foreground at the beginning of the economic system through sustainable product design and the right to repair. Reusable systems are just as much part of the solution as the avoidance and labeling of chemicals that are harmful to the environment and health. The BUND is therefore calling for a drastic and absolute reduction in resource consumption, for which Germany needs ambitious and binding reduction targets. Note: Please note the survey in the appendix. BUND press office: Sigrid Wolff | Daniel Jahn | Judith Freund | Heye Jensen Tel. 030-27586-425 | -531 | -497 | -464 | E-Mail: presse (at), You can currently reach the press office more mobile. Daniel Jahn: 0170-160 66 58 Heye Jensen: 01590-633 23 72Overview


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