In Europe, addressing the climate crisis rests on the choices of different generations. A study across seven European countries indicates that younger people are more willing to make significant lifestyle changes than older generations.

Real Research launched a survey on the topic, and here are the results, which explore the differences in attitudes towards the climate crisis and lifestyle choices between age groups, shedding light on the cultural aspects that influence their perspectives.


  • Having fewer children is a good way to fight Europe’s climate crisis, according to 66.7%.
  • 61.93% were willing to reduce their consumption of meat and dairy products.
  • 76.33% favor paying more for sustainable air travel.

Europe’s Climate Crisis’ Solution Lies in the Hands of the Younger Generation?

Across Europe, young people are more willing than older generations to make big lifestyle changes that would help combat the climate crisis, but they are less convinced by smaller gestures. 43.88% were fully aware of it, 37.38% were vaguely aware, and 18.73% weren’t aware at all.

To combat Europe’s climate crisis, 44% believe that older generations are more inclined to make smaller, incremental changes in their lifestyle compared to younger generations. 31.58% showed uncertainty, and 24.42% disagreed. A study done in seven countries across Europe showed that more than half of young people were worried about not being able to own a house in the next decade. 80.16% claimed that economic concerns were influential on the ability of young people to own a house. The responses were extremely influential (40.38%), somewhat influential (39.78%), slightly influential (11%), and not at all influential (8.83%).

Figure 1: The influence of economic concerns on the ability of young people to own a house

Go Big or Go Home

Young people from the ages of 18 to 34 were planning to have fewer children to help fight the climate crisis. 39.47% believed that this was somewhat a good way to fight Europe’s climate crisis, 27.23% strongly agreed, 20.23% somewhat disagreed, and 13.07% strongly disagreed.

Figure 2: Opinion on having fewer children to combat Europe’s climate crisis

Furthermore, the study revealed that young people were more willing to give up cars, with 54% of 18- to 24-year-olds saying they would—or already did—only walk, cycle, or use public transport. The efforts to reduce carbon footprints by using eco-friendly transportation were described as very important (48.67%), moderately important (32.3%), slightly important (9.93%), and not important (9.1%).

While a small percentage of 18-24-year-olds were willing to cut meat and dairy out of their diet, it was still a higher percentage than older people. For environmental reasons, 61.93% were willing to reduce their consumption of meat and dairy products, whereas 38.07% didn’t share the same views.

Figure 3: Willingness to reduce meat and dairy consumption for environmental reasons

Younger generations were also much more likely to be willing to pay more for air travel if more sustainable airplanes were more expensive. The vast majority (76.33%) were open to paying more for sustainable air travel or other less-polluting transportation options; on the other hand, 14.98% showed some hesitance, and 8.68% strongly opposed.


Survey TitleSurvey on Different Generations’ Responses to the Climate Crisis in Europe
DurationNovember 1 – November 8, 2023
Number of Participants6,000
DemographicsMales and females, aged 21 to 99
Participating Countries Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, China (Hong Kong) China (Macao), China (Taiwan), Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Greanada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Maldives, Maluritania, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar [Burma], Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.