European Perceptions of Climate Change – profiles for France, Germany, Norway and the UK

A report by Climate Outreach and the European Perceptions of Climate Change Project at Cardiff University explores public perceptions of climate change and energy transition in Europe over the last two years. 


The study looks at four different analyses of the participating nations in the EPCC; Germany, France, Norway, and the UK. The national profiles created in the report provide a detailed overview of the socio- political context in each of the four nations and their relationship with stakeholders on climate change.



Key Concepts of the four National Profiles


  • In a 2014 survey on environmental awareness in Germany, respondents ranked environmental protection as fifth among a list of the most important social issues currently facing the country.
  • Germany has a goal to meet national energy demands with 80% renewable energy by 2050.
  • Rising temperatures during Germany’s winter weather will affect agriculture and tourism.



  • France has low emissions per capita relative to other European and developed nations, with a target to reduce total energy consumption 50% by 2050.
  • Pope Francis’ June 2015 environmental encyclical calling on all religions to take action on climate change was taken note of in France at The Paris Climate Change Summit.  
  • France is projected to experience more frequent and longer periods of heatwaves and droughts, which are potentially fatal to at-risk populations in the country.



  • Norway’s social identity to nature has formed a powerful narrative around how the country found and exploited its offshore oil and gas resources.
  • Climate change is not considered a left-right issue in Norway as other countries such as the United States.
  • In Norway, heavier rainfall, more frequent landslides and more severe floods are likely a result of climate change as annual precipitation has increased by 18%.



  • In 2015 the government received criticism from UN scientists for ‘sending mixed signals’ with regards to the support for low-carbon technologies and solutions in the UK.
  • In the UK a world-leading Climate Change Act and the installment of the Committee on Climate Change aim to have 80% emission reduction by 2050.
  • Climate change is expected to increase the risk of severe flooding and hotter summers in the UK.



Related resources

Related Resources