Slovaks view environment as being more important than economy

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Slovaks view environment as being more important than economy

06. 06. 2018 14:27

According to most Slovak citizens asked in a recent poll, environmental protection should be given priority over economic growth. This stems from the results of a survey which was published by the Institute of Sociology within the Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAV) on Tuesday, being World Environment Day.

According to the poll, almost one third of all Slovak citizens would be willing to give up part of their income in favour of protecting the environment. This view was deemed important by 60 percent of all respondents when asked in 2017, even at the cost of slower economic growth and an increase in unemployment. Conversely, 30 percent of those polled considered the creation of conditions for economic growth paramount, even at the detriment of their living environment. According to the Institute of Sociology, those that preferred economic growth over environmental protection tended to live in cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants and had a standard level of education.

The poll included the statement, "I would be willing to renounce part of my income if I were confident that the money would be used to protect against environmental pollution," to which 28 percent of the respondents agreed, and 38 percent disagreed. However, the Institute noted that willingness to theoretically contribute income towards the environment has been declining since 1991.

The survey also addressed the attitudes of respondents who underestimate the power they have in personally contributing towards environmental protection. "Attitudes which mitigate how important environmental protection is do not have a high level of support among Slovak citizens," noted the Sociological Institute. The survey however recorded an increase in the confidence of environmental organisations. 58 percent of respondents trust environmental groups; six percent more than last year.

The survey was conducted within the framework of the European Values Study (EVS) and involved 1432 respondents. The poll takes population distribution by gender, age, education, size of place of residence and region into account.

Gavin Shoebridge, Photo: TASR

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