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New Zealanders want action to cut emissions

Latest poll shows New Zealanders want action to cut emissions

New nationwide polling on climate change by TNS Conversa shows New Zealanders want action to cut emissions.

The New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development says the $40,000 online survey also shows 58% support New Zealand being part of the Kyoto protocol.

It also confirms earlier Business Council ShapeNZ nationwide research when TNS Conversa finds 73% of New Zealanders believe climate change is being caused by humans and animals (respondents ranking it 5+ on a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 means they don't believe that at all.) (ShapeNZ polling of 1331 respondents, margin of error + or - 2.7% in November 2007 showed 76% global warming was being caused by human activity).

Business Council Chief Executive Peter Neilson says the TNS Conversa poll also confirms earlier Business Council focus group and national omnibus telephone and online polling, conducted since 2005, showing the environment is a key issue for New Zealanders.

Mr Nielson says the public understands that potential impacts on jobs and prices need to be managed when the emissions trading scheme is introduced.

They also rate the economy and other issues ahead of climate change as election issues.

"Emissions trading does involve imposing a price on carbon, and putting prices up. That's how it works – in order to encourage emission reductions. What we need to do, as the latest report on the Australian scheme also says, is ensure we protect businesses from overseas competitors who don't face a price on carbon.

"In New Zealand, it is proposed 79% of the country's overall emissions units will be given free to trade exposed industries by 2013. Support will not end until 2030.

"At the same time we need to get on with passing the emissions trading bill – and encourage billions in new investment in low-carbon technology during the next 10 years. Those benefits will also flow through to create more than 9,600 new jobs and $5.5 billion a year in new wages and protect and enhance our trading position."

Mr Neilson says the party political poll result in the TNS Conversa survey indicates both the major parties may need coalition partners after the election to form a government. It also shows climate change is a very important issue for Maori and Green Party voters which National or Labour might need in order to form a long-term coalition Government.

The poll found: 24% intend to vote for the Labour Party, 30% for National, 4% Green, 3% NZ First, 3% Maori Party, 1% ACT, less than 1% for United Future, while 27% do not know which party they will vote for later this year, and 7% do not intend to vote.

The result shows the combined decided vote for National, ACT and United Future is 32%, while 34% for Labour, Green, NZ First and the Maori Party.

"It could be a rogue poll, even though TNS says it is the largest custom research organisation in the world, with offices in 80 countries. However, if correct, the poll does indicate a coalition could be required to form the next Government, depending on how the undecided voters split.

"That means the main parties would be wise to develop cross party support on climate change and emissions trading policies. ShapeNZ polling shows 87% of New Zealanders want climate change managed with multi-party support," Mr Neilson says.


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