In 2000, 15% of French people placed "global warming" at the top of their concerns in the field of the environment. Four years later, they are 31% (only one possible answer from a choice of seven). During the same period, the share of people placing the air pollution in the first rank went from 22% to 16%. Same drop in the item "nuclear waste", which goes from 22% to 17%. The other environmental problems proposed to the respondents are the subject of a less clear evolution: "water pollution" (16% in 2000, 14% in 2004), "degradation of fauna and flora" (10% and 10%) and "household waste" (6% and 8%) remain fairly stable in this barometer, while "noise" changes from 8% to 3%. On behalf of the Lyonnaise des Eaux, the TNS Sofres institute interviews every year a representative sample of French citizens and elected representatives.
This barometer also offers a comparison with three other European countries. Our neighbors place "global warming" even higher than the French on the scale of their worries: 34% of Germans designate it as the most important environmental problem, and it is even the case of 37% of Spaniards and 38% of the British.
Another lesson from this survey: nearly one in two French people (44%) still think that wastewater "is cleaned up in wastewater treatment plants before returning to the drinking water network", against 42% who know that the discharges of the treatment plants are discharged into the natural environment. This rate of erroneous opinions remains fairly stable from one year to the next.
Same stability regarding the opinion on the price of water: in 2004, there is always 79% of French who find it "very" or "quite high", a rate almost constant since 1999.
To read the detailed results (PDF format, 121 KB), click here.
To read the comment of the survey on the TNS Sofres website, click here.