The Eurobarometer survey, published in Brussels following 1,012 face-to-face interviews in Portugal between 9 and 22 April, showed that 87 percent of Portuguese respondents rate the changes as “a very serious problem”, compared to 11 percent who consider it a “relatively serious” issue and only 1 percent who dismiss it.

The concerns expressed by the Portuguese were higher than the EU average (a total of 27,655 citizens from the 28 member states interviewed in this Eurobarometer), as fewer European respondents (79 percent) spoke of a “very serious problem”, while 14 percent said it was a “relatively serious” issue and 6 percent disregarded it.

Even so, 23 percent of European respondents talk about climate change as the most serious problem facing the world, a percentage that falls to 19 percent of Portuguese respondents.

Asked what they are doing personally to combat this phenomenon, 74 percent of those interviewed in Portugal said they were taking action, more than the average for the whole EU, which was around 60 percent.

As an example of the measures adopted in the last six months, the Portuguese respondents talked about the reduction of waste and an increase in recycling (76 percent) and also about reducing energy consumption through the use of more efficient appliances (42 percent).

In addition, almost all Portuguese respondents said that the Government should set targets to increase the use of renewable energy by 2030 and support the improvement of energy efficiency (96 percent and 95 percent, respectively).

Almost all domestic respondents (97 percent) also said they support the goal of the EU becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

The European Commission has also adopted a communication reaffirming the Union’s involvement with environmental commitments, which will be presented at the Climate Action Summit held by the United Nations (UN) at the end of the month in New York.

At a press conference held in Brussels after the release of this communiqué, the vice-president of the EU executive and Commissioner for the Energy Union, Maroš Šefèoviè, stressed that “the fact that July [this year] was the warmest month ever recorded makes it clear that action is needed”.