Dutch party leader Derk Jan Eppink of Forum for Democracy (FvD) claimed in a televised elections’ debate on 13 May that the Dutch Greens are not very eager to contribute financially to climate change. Eppink based his claim on a recent survey by Ipsos and, as it seems, on an article in national newspaper De Telegraaf. However, there is more to this than meets the eye!
Dutch citizens on climate policy
The debate was broadcast by Nieuwsuur, a Dutch news programme on national television. FvD party leader Derk Jan Eppink is heard referring to a survey carried out by Ipsos (PDF, 28 February 2019) on behalf of the Dutch national daily De Telegraaf: ‘Dutch citizens on climate policy’. It discusses various subjects, such as: climate change, agreement on climate change, climate measures, financing of climate policy and political borderlines. Eppink subsequently seems to follow the conclusion of a De Telegraaf article published shortly after the report was issued. A closer look at the report paints a broader picture.
In response to the general question whether they are willing to make a financial contribution to climate policy, 60 percent of GreenLeft (GL) voters agreed. With this, GreenLeft voters are the largest group willing to make a financial contribution.
Most Democrats (D‘66) and Labour Party (PvdA) voters also indicate to contribute. In contrast: only a small percentage of Socialist Party (SP) Freedom Party (PVV) and FvD voters are willing to contribute.
While Eppink accuses GreenLeft voters that they want to contribute only 10 euros per month, this is not the complete story, as is shown in the graph below: indeed 43 percent of GreenLeft voters in The Netherlands state that they are personally willing to contribute approximately 10 euros per month to climate policy. But, the research also shows that in total 42 percent of the GreenLeft constituency are willing to contribute more than 10 euros. The highest percent of all parties. And 5 percent declares they are willing to contribute more than 100 euros per month to climate policy.
The statement of FvD’s party leader Epping “Recent research by Ipsos showed that the GreenLeft constituency wants to raise around 10 euros per month for climate policy. It appears to be not that popular with the members of GreenLeft” – is mostly false. Overall a majority of 60% is willing to contribute financially to climate policy. It is however true that a part of GreenLeft voters (43%) is ‘only’ willing to contribute 10 euros to climate policy. Nonetheless, an equal percentage (42%) is willing to contribute more than 10 euro’s to climate policy.
The conclusion that climate policy is apparently not that popular with the voters of GreenLeft is therefore one-sided and the claim mostly false.
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RESEARCH | ARTICLE © Josephine Ummels, Utrecht University of Applied Sciences, NL