Embracing the Green Future: Dutch Public's Optimism Towards Quality of Life and Job Growth in the Green Transition

The majority of Dutch citizens express optimism that the green transition will bring about a better quality of life and increased job opportunities, according to the 2021-2022 Climate Survey by the European Investment Bank. A significant 62% of respondents believe that policies aimed at addressing climate change will lead to a net gain in employment, surpassing the EU average. Moreover, 58% anticipate an improvement in their quality of life, underscoring a positive perception of the transition to a greener economy.

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The majority of Dutch people expect a better quality of life and more jobs from the green transition.

  • 58% think climate policies will improve their quality of life
  • 62% believe policies to tackle climate change will create more jobs than they eliminate
  • 56% say climate policies are a source of economic growth
  • 25% expect to have to move to another region or country in the future because of climate change – this figure is 44% among 20-29 year-olds

These are some of the results from the latest release of the 2021-2022 Climate Survey conducted in September 2021 and published today by the European Investment Bank (EIB). The EIB is the lending arm of the European Union and the world’s largest multilateral lender for climate action projects.


Better quality of life despite less purchasing power

Are policies to tackle climate change good news for the economy? The majority of Dutch people think the green transition will be a source of economic growth. 56% believe it will be the case, which is in line with the EU average of 56%.

Moreover, the majority (58%) believe that their quality of life will improve, with greater convenience in their everyday lives and a positive impact on food quality and their health. Policies that address the climate emergency are also seen as good news for the job market: 62% of Dutch people say these will have a net positive impact on employment levels within the country, creating more jobs than they eliminate (6 points above the EU average of 56%).

However, more than half (59%) anticipate that their purchasing power will decrease with the green transition.


Migration to other regions and changing jobs

According to Dutch people, the challenges related to climate change are here to stay. While one-quarter (23%) of them believe that the climate emergency will be under control by 2050, 72% feel that it will still be a serious issue by mid-century.

Dutch respondents say they see climate change threatening their place of residence. When asked about the longer-term impact of the climate crisis, one-quarter of Dutch people (25%) expect to have to move to another region or country because of climate change. This concern is much stronger among people aged 20-29, with 44% of them saying they are worried about the possibility of needing to move due to climate issues. Many Dutch people, especially the younger generation, are also concerned about the sustainability of their jobs. 19% of all respondents fear that they could lose their jobs because it will become incompatible with the fight against climate change. This figure goes up to 36% among respondents aged 20-29.


Long-term lifestyle changes

Dutch people are conscious of the behavioral shifts that are needed to tackle climate change. According to them, individual lifestyle changes that reduce carbon emissions will gain significant traction in the next 20 years. One-quarter of respondents (23%) believe that most people will no longer own a car in 20 years and 58% say they think that most people will be working from home to contribute to the fight against climate change. Lastly, one-third (31%) think most people will have adopted a plant-based diet and 48% predict that an energy quota will be allocated to each individual.


A Meaningful Green Job in the Netherlands

The insights gleaned from the EIB climate survey offer more than just a glimpse into public sentiment; they provide a roadmap for fostering a meaningful green jobs sector in the Netherlands. The optimistic outlook of the Dutch population, foreseeing a better quality of life and economic growth through the green transition, is a powerful motivator. This positive perception can encourage individuals to actively seek green job opportunities, thus propelling the demand for a skilled workforce in sectors like renewable energy, sustainability consulting, and environmental management. The anticipation of lifestyle shifts, such as a decrease in car ownership and a rise in remote work, hints at the changing dynamics of work, presenting an opportunity for innovative, eco-conscious businesses to thrive and create novel green job roles. The concerns about purchasing power and job sustainability also underscore the need for policies that ensure a just transition, where financial and employment security are safeguarded while transitioning to a sustainable economy. Overall, this survey illuminates a path where public perception and proactive policy-making can harmonize to drive a meaningful green job revolution in the Netherlands, aligning with global sustainability objectives.


Original Source: Majority of Dutch people expect a better quality of life and more jobs from the green transition by European Investment Bank.

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