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New Zealanders open to doing more to tackle climate change

27 March 2019

New Zealanders open to doing more to tackle climate change

The vast majority of New Zealanders are open to doing more about climate change – as individuals and as a nation – according to new research commissioned by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA).

More than 80% of New Zealanders, including businesses, believe that climate change is happening. 88% of people want companies to do more, and 76% want the government to do more. Most people (79%) acknowledge they themselves could be doing more to act on climate change.

EECA commissioned the research from market insights agency TRA to understand how New Zealand businesses and individuals think about energy use and climate change.

“It’s heartening to see so many New Zealanders are already very much on board with the need to reduce our climate change emissions,” said EECA Chief Executive Andrew Caseley.

“Energy use makes up 40% of New Zealand’s total greenhouse gas emissions, and modern technologies such as LED lighting, heat pumps, and electric vehicles can make a big impact on our emissions.

‘Energy use is an area where New Zealanders can, right now, choose options that will reduce our carbon emissions, and they are smart investments that save people money over time, and can improve quality of life.’

While many New Zealanders are willing or open to taking action, barriers to greater action exist.

30% of New Zealanders believe reducing their environmental impact would impact their quality of life, while in business, 62% think taking action would increase their costs.

“There is a role for government and the private sector to alert New Zealanders to further ways they can join the fight against climate change, and to make it easier for them to do so,” said Mr Caseley.

‘If New Zealanders want to find out how they can reduce their energy-related emissions, then visit www.energywise.govt.nz or eecabusiness.govt.nz.’

EECA commissioned the research to better understand the information needs of New Zealanders with regard to their energy use and climate change.

EECA is using the research to develop and deliver targeted and relevant information campaigns and programmes to address carbon emissions from energy, Mr Caseley said.


Research results: New Zealanders’ attitudes to climate change and energy

General public / consumers
‘Climate change is real’

Strongly agree40%
Agree43%
Neutral11%
Disagree4%
Strongly disagree3%

Base: Total sample n=999

‘Climate change will impact my lifestyle’

Strongly agree11%
Agree47%
Neutral28%
Disagree11%
Strongly disagree3%

Base: Total sample n=999

How would you describe your actions on climate change?

Not really doing anything and don’t really want to do anything7%
Not really doing anything, but I’d like to start7%
Doing a bit but could be doing more52%
Doing a bit and couldn’t do any more11%
Doing a lot but could be doing more20%
Doing a lot and couldn’t do any more4%

Base: Total sample n=999

‘Other people need to do more to reduce their impact on the environment’

Strongly agree20%
Agree56%
Neutral21%
Disagree2%
Strongly disagree1%

Base: Total sample n=999

‘Companies need to do more to reduce their impact on the environment’

Strongly agree38%
Agree50%
Neutral10%
Disagree1%
Strongly disagree1%

Base: Total sample n=999
‘It’s hard to reduce my environmental impact without reducing my quality of life’
Strongly agree4%
Agree26%
Neutral31%
Disagree34%
Strongly disagree4%

Base: Total sample n=999

‘The government needs to do more to help reduce New Zealand’s impact on the environment’

Strongly agree25%
Agree51%
Neutral18%
Disagree4%
Strongly disagree2%

Base: Total sample n=999

Business
‘Climate change is real’

Strongly agree35%
Agree45%
Neutral12%
Disagree4%
Strongly disagree4%

Base: Total sample n=415

‘Climate change will impact my lifestyle’

Strongly agree13%
Agree51%
Neutral22%
Disagree11%
Strongly disagree3%

Base: Total sample n=415

‘Businesses can make a difference to the environment’

Strongly agree25%
Agree62%
Neutral10%
Disagree1%
Strongly disagree2%

Base: Total sample n=415

‘Businesses have a moral duty to others to improve the environment’

Strongly agree12%
Agree62%
Neutral20%
Disagree5%
Strongly disagree1%

Base: Total sample n=415

‘It’s hard to reduce our environmental impact without increasing costs’

Strongly agree11%
Agree51%
Neutral21%
Disagree16%
Strongly disagree2%

Base: Total sample n=415

Note to editors
TRA (www.tra.co.nz) surveyed 1,000 New Zealanders aged 18 and over, and 400 businesses in November 2018.
Margin of error: 1000 New Zealanders +/- 3 percentage points
Margin of error: 400 Businesses +/- 5 percentage points
ENDS


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