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Consumers rally support for energy transition amid rising fuel prices

A new survey by the World Economic Forum (WEF), has found strong global support – across all countries and demographic groups – for the energy transition to move away from fossil fuels.

A majority of consumers worldwide expect their overall spending power to be significantly impacted by further energy price increases due to market volatility and rising geopolitical tensions.

This notwithstanding, only 13% of those surveyed globally blamed climate policies for the rising prices, while 84% of respondents stressed the importance of their own country’s shift to sustainable energy sources.

The survey conducted by the WEF and Ipsos, a market research among 22,534 adults in 30 countries between February 18 and March 4 2022.

Overall, there was a global consensus around the importance of shifting away from fossil fuels, as 8 in 10 respondents think it is important for their country to shift away from hydrocarbons to more climate friendly and sustainable energy sources

 “The energy transition has always been about security, affordability and environmental sustainability: the so-called energy triangle,” said Roberto Bocca, Head of Shaping the Future of Energy and Materials, at WEF.

“The current geopolitical context makes it even more true today. This survey underlines that popular support exists for the transition to a new energy system that is more sustainable, secure and affordable.”

The energy transition has always been about security, affordability and environmental sustainability: the so-called energy triangle.

High energy prices

Survey respondents were asked to consider the energy they use for daily expenses – such as transportation, heating or cooling homes, cooking, powering appliances, etc – and assess how much energy price increases would affect their overall spending power.

On average, more than half of consumers (55%) across the 30 countries surveyed expect their overall spending power to be significantly impacted by energy price increases.

However, the most cited reasons on average were “volatility in the oil and gas markets” and “geopolitical tensions” (by 28% and 25% of respondents globally).

Another 18% cited insufficient supply to meet increased demand, 16% said they were not sure, and only 13% blamed climate change policies – the least cited reason on average.

Respondents were also asked how important it was to them that their country shifts away from fossil fuels to more climate-friendly and sustainable energy sources in the next five years.

Globally, the level of importance granted to shifting away from fossil fuels was also very high across all demographic groups surveyed. Although support was strong among all demographic groups, slightly more women (87%) thought it was important to move away from fossil fuels than men (81%).

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