88% of Indians confident in the country’s ability to adopt climate change policies that address social inequalities at the same time, the EIB survey finds.


  • Climate and environmental concerns top the list of challenges Indian respondents see for their country.
  • 90% of Indian respondents have confidence in the government’s ability to deliver a fair climate transition that also tackles inequalities.
  • Two-thirds of Indians surveyed believe that the climate transition will improve the quality of their daily lives, food and health, and create more jobs for the country.
  • Most respondents from the European Union, the United States, and Japan believe their countries should provide financial compensation to affected nations for climate change.

These are some of the results from the latest yearly climate survey, conducted in August 2023 and published today by the European Investment Bank. The EIB is the lending arm of the European Union and the world’s largest multilateral lender for climate action projects. Since 1993, we have been partnering with India, supporting the country’s green ambitions by investing in sustainable urban transport and renewable energy.

Recent years in India have been marked not only by record heatwaves and droughts but also more recently by disastrous landslides and flash floods. In 2022, the New Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment compiled a list of extreme weather events in the country. According to this report, India experienced at least one extreme weather event in 314 out of 365 days.

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has also published a report for 2022, which paints a worrying picture of the climate situation in India. India is one of the global hotspots identified in the report in terms of geographical and socioeconomic vulnerabilities. States like Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Bihar are the most vulnerable to climate hazards such as floods, droughts and cyclones.

Against this backdrop, Indians have become acutely aware of the profound impact of climate change on their daily lives and the urgent need for action.

Hence, climate change and environmental issues are now considered the number one challenge for Indians (56% of respondents place it in the top three concerns for their country). This is a striking insight as—out of the 35 countries covered by the survey—India is one of only five countries to place climate and environment as the very top challenge (with China, South Korea, Denmark and Slovenia being the other four). Meanwhile, most respondents in all other countries in the European Union, together with the United States, Japan, Canada and UAE consider it to be the second most significant issue facing their country after the increased cost of living.

88% of Indians confident in the country’s ability to adopt climate change policies - EIB survey

High confidence in a just climate transition

With economic disparities ranked as the fourth most significant major challenge for the country by respondents, most Indians are calling for fair policies to address the climate emergency. 59% (close to China, the United States and Japan but 9 points below the European Union) say the transition to a low-carbon economy can only happen if inequalities are addressed at the same time.

Additionally, 88% of Indian respondents say they are confident in the government’s ability to adopt climate change policies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address social inequalities at the same time. This is similar to China but far above the United States (where only 57% are confident), Japan (40%) and the EU average (38%).

Moreover, Indians are particularly confident about the outcome of climate policies. 65% of respondents (a figure close to that of the United States and China and to the EU average but 18 points above Japan) believe that climate policies will improve the quality of their daily lives. 63% also think that the policies will create more jobs than they will eliminate (7 points below China but 6 points above the United States, 12 points above the EU average and 14 points above Japan).

Solidarity to support a just transition

Assuming that the transition is partly financed by income tax, 89% of respondents (very close to China but 22 points above the United States, 30 points above the European Union and 31 points above Japan) would be prepared to see this tax increased to help lower-income households absorb the cost of a green transition.

More than 90% of Indian respondents said they would also be in favour of other kinds of climate-related measures. For example, 91% of respondents said they would favour eliminating subsidies and tax breaks for the aviation sector and other industries that rely heavily on fossil fuels.

On a more global scale, the question of compensation for developing countries to help them deal with the impacts of climate change expected to be a central issue at the 2023 UN Climate Change Conference in Dubai (COP28) — and the Indian government has consistently expressed the need to accelerate progress on this question.

The survey results show that those in high-income countries are sensitive to this expectation. Conscious of a historical responsibility, most respondents from the European Union (60%), the United States (63%) and Japan (72%) agree that their countries should financially compensate affected nations to help them fight climate change.

Comments from EIB Vice-President Kris Peeters:

“The EIB’s latest climate survey highlights Indians’ profound awareness of climate change and their commitment to tackle it. It is encouraging that they expect very positive results from the green transition. Respondents also emphasise that a successful transition to a low-carbon economy is intrinsically linked to tackling inequality, and they are confident that the country will succeed in doing so. The call for a just transition resonates strongly with the European Investment Bank. Solidarity and actionable measures are more pivotal now than ever.”

Respondents had to select the three challenges they consider the biggest for their country from a shuffled list of ten challenges: Increased cost of living, unemployment, climate change, environmental degradation, political instability, income inequalities, access to healthcare, large-scale migrations, cyberattacks, and terrorism

About the EIB Climate Survey

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has now completed the sixth annual EIB Climate Survey, a thorough assessment of how people feel about climate change. Conducted in partnership with the market research firm BVA, the sixth edition of the EIB Climate Survey aims to inform the broader debate on attitudes and expectations in terms of climate action. More than 30 000 respondents participated in the survey from 7 August to 4 September 2023, with a representative panel of people aged 15 and above for each of the 35 countries polled (EU 27, the United States, China, the United Kingdom, India, Japan, South Korea, Canada and UAE).

About the European Investment Bank

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It is active in more than 160 countries and makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals.

  • In 2019, the EIB adopted an updated energy lending policy ending financing to any unabated fossil fuel energy projects, including natural gas. The EIB was the first multilateral development bank to do this.
  • In 2021, the EIB also became the first multilateral development bank to align its financial activities with the Paris Agreement.
  • Through its Climate Bank Roadmap, the EIB Group aims to support €1 trillion of investment in climate action and environmental sustainability through the critical decade 2021-2030.
  • It also made a commitment to increase investment in climate action and environmental sustainability to more than 50% of its annual lending by 2025 (last year that goal was exceeded with a figure of 58%).

EIB Global is the EIB Group’s specialised arm dedicated to operations outside the European Union and is a key partner of the EU Global Gateway strategy. It aims to support at least €100 billion of investment by the end of 2027, around one-third of the overall target of the Global Gateway. Within Team Europe, EIB Global fosters strong, focused partnerships alongside fellow development finance institutions and civil society. EIB Global brings the Group closer to local communities, companies and institutions through its offices across the world.

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