De-forestation, Dealing with Waste and Air Pollution Take Center Stage in Romania’s Environmental Concerns

Major environmental issues in Romania involve de-forestation (70%), waste management (34%) and air pollution (32%). These are the findings from a global survey conducted by market research company Ipsos across 28 countries.

7 in 10 Romanians cite de-forestation as top environmental problem locally. Romanians are preoccupied by wood-cutting to significantly higher extent as compared to the global or European average (23%, in each case). The attention level is even higher among women (78%) and senior citizens (80% for 50-64 y.o. segment).

Outside Romania, just a few South-American countries (Brazil – 49%, Argentina - 42%) or Turkey (49%) share the same concern. At the same time, Poles – who have been recently involved in a European ruling concerning logging in the Bialowieza forest – place de-forestation on the second position of their environmental issues (38%), just behind air pollution (57%).

On the background of economic growth fuelled largely by private consumption, dealing with the amount of waste we generate comes in second on the list of Romania’s environmental issues, cited by 34% of respondents. Interest in this topic increases with education – from 29% among those with low education, and up to 46% for highly-educated Romanians. Conversely, Serbians, Britons, Russians and Italians are more concerned with this aspect (43% up to 49%).

Air pollution – key issue among citizens in 7 countries and one the of top 3 topics cited in more than half of the 28 countries surveyed – concerns 32% of Romanians. Recently, Romania has been referred to the EU Court of Justice for failing to respect air quality standards.

Global warming and climate change are not a vital priority for Romanians; this topic ranks fifth on the list of concerns. Nevertheless, when questioned specifically on this subject, ninety percent of Romanians agree that world’s climate is changing. By comparison, three quarters of Americans, Australians or Germans embrace the same view.

2 in 3 Romanians think human activity is the main cause for climate change – as opposed to only 1 in 3 Americans. This year have seen United States making a formal withdrawal from Paris Climate Agreement, which is the equivalent of a lower engagement towards reducing the carbon footprint.

From a global standpoint*, survey participants have cited cited global warming, air pollution, or dealing with waste as the most concerning environmental problems (30% each). At the opposite end, flooding (12%), over-packaging of consumer goods (11%), and soil erosion (6%) gain less traction.

*The results are based on a survey by Ipsos – third largest market research company worldwide – conducted online during March – April 2018, among 20,794 individuals aged 16-64, from Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, and the USA. Results from Romania are based on a sample of 500 respondents and are representative at urban level.

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