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The impact of Covid-19 on environmental attitudes and trust in government: Preliminary findings

One of the sections in our survey, carried out between August and November 2020, assessed how the experience of living with Covid-19 may have impacted the perceived importance of societal issues, including environmental policies.

1107 members of the public completed the survey online, which found that, unsurprisingly, almost 80% of respondents believe that funding the healthcare system is more important now than prior to Covid-19. Over 70% believe that job creation is more important and over 60% of respondents believe that providing recreational areas is more important now than prior to Covid-19.

Interestingly, the majority of respondents also believe that certain energy policies are also more important now. Over 50% of respondents stated that cheaper electricity prices, grants for home energy efficiency improvements and increasing renewable energy generation are more important now than prior to Covid-19.

Trust in the government can be important for the acceptance of renewable energy development and so respondents were also asked if their experience of Covid-19 has impacted their trust in the Irish government.

The majority of respondents (56%) indicated that their trust has changed based on experiences during the Covid-19 pandemic. 32% of respondents trust the government less and 24% trust the government more.

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