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Business Opportunities And Climate Change

New Zealand business people believe climate change will result in more rather than fewer - economic opportunities being available for the country.

Nearly six out of 10 business people also believe businesses will cut emissions as a result of the proposed emissions trading system.

And New Zealanders, including business people, continue to believe the country should be a global leader in responding to climate change, according to the latest nationwide research monitor on people's attitudes to climate change and policies.

The research, conducted by ShapeNZ for the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development, covered 1261 respondents, including 393 business managers, proprietors and self-employed, between November 23 and December 3. The results are weighted by age, gender, personal income, employment status and party vote 2005. The maximum margin of error of the national sample is plus or minus 3%.

The research for the first time also asked New Zealanders directly whether they agreed or disagreed with the view that climate change or global warming is being caused by human activity.

Some 76% agree it is (77% of business decision makers), and 13% disagree (13% of business decision makers).

New Zealanders remain convinced climate change is a problem to be dealt with now or urgently: 10% say it is not really a problem at all, while 74% say it is a problem. Of these 38% say it is a problem to be dealt with now and 34% say it is an urgent or immediate problem.

A majority of the population and business people (54% and 51% respectively) say global leadership is the preferred way they would like the country to respond to climate change. Nine per cent say to either do a little but do not worry too much or do as little as possible.

Asked about the policy to introduce an emissions trading system between 2008 and 2013, under which businesses making greenhouse gas emissions must buy carbon credits, and those reducing emissions can sell carbon credits, 45% of New Zealanders agree and 22% disagree (8% don't know). Among business people 54% agree, 23% disagree, 11% don't know.

However, 59% of business people agree that putting a price on carbon will encourage business emitters to reduce emissions (31% disagree, 10% don't know).
Asked if New Zealand has more or fewer economic opportunities available as a result of climate change 54% of business people agree (39% of the New Zealanders agree), 19% disagree (22%) and 27% don't know (38%).

Business Council Chief Executive Peter Neilson says it is clear New Zealanders and business people accept climate change is a problem and want to respond positively as a country and commercially.

"It's quite significant that New Zealand business people are onto the fact that there are national and economic benefits if they take a proactive stance on managing the impacts of climate change.

"There are big opportunities for business and others to lower emissions, reduce energy use, adopt new technology and increase local and international market share.

"The opportunities may be bigger than the risks for New Zealand and people seem ready to gasp those immediately."

The full survey result is available at www.nzbcsd.org.nz
The survey continues online at www.shapenz.org.nz

Ends

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