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Ipsos Earth Day Report 2024 - NZ Edition

Ipsos, one of the world’s leading market research companies releases a 33-country study as part of Earth Day, looking at how attitudes to climate change are changing. Key findings include:

  • Fewer New Zealanders now think they will be failing future generations by not taking action on climate change, down nine percentage points since 2022 (and three percentage points since 2023). Over the same period, fewer New Zealanders also say that businesses will be failing their employees and customers by not combatting climate change.
  • However, despite this, New Zealanders are notably less cynical and apathetic about climate change: globally, we are among the most likely to disagree that climate change is beyond our control (58%, c.f. 47% global average), that the negative impact of climate change is too far in future for us to worry about (63%, c.f. 52% global average), and there is no point in changing our behaviour to tackle climate change as it won’t make a difference anyway (58%, c.f. 52% global average).
  • Although fewer New Zealanders think that individuals and businesses must act now on climate change now than in 2022, they still hold the Government to account, with 2 in 3 (66%) stating that if the Government doesn’t act now, it will be failing the people of New Zealand (unchanged from 2022).
  • However, questions remain over the Government’s plans, with only 1 in 3 (32%, steady compared to 2023) stating that they believe the Government has a clear plan in place to tackle climate change.
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Encouragingly, New Zealanders are becoming increasingly more aware of the most impactful actions and behaviour changes to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. Significantly more New Zealanders identified switching to purchasing renewable energy and living car-free as being among the top-3 most impactful carbon-reducing actions (the true rank for reducing emissions has these in 4th and 1st place respectively).

Carin Hercock, Managing Director, Ipsos New Zealand, said: "Despite rising global apathy towards climate change, New Zealanders believe that it’s not too late to act. They view climate change as an issue, as a joint responsibility, seeking action from governments, businesses and individuals. Encouragingly, growing numbers of New Zealanders understanding that the adoption of renewable energy sources and a car free lifestyle will have a greater impact on carbon footprint reduction than recycling.”

Amanda Dudding, Research Director, Public Affairs, Ipsos New Zealand, added: “Through the Ipsos Issues Monitor we know that as a priority, climate change is regularly superseded by other more pressing issues such as inflation and the high cost of living, and that it’s more often thought of as a priority for the future rather than now. This research shows we are getting more knowledge about how we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but less likely than two years about to think that individuals and businesses need to act now. Possibly related to the cost of living, the most common tool to encourage us to fight climate change is a financial incentive or tax cut.”

About the Study

Ipsos has conducted this study as part of Earth Day to understand perceptions of climate change in different countries, exploring people’s willingness to make personal changes, expectations from the government, and perceptions of different climate change action and their effectiveness in reducing emissions. More than 24,000 people across 33 countries were surveyed, including 1,002 people aged 18+ in New Zealand.

These are the results of a 33-country survey conducted by Ipsos on its Global Advisor online platform and, in India, on its IndiaBus platform, between Friday, January 26 and Friday, February 9, 2024. For this survey, Ipsos interviewed a total of 24,290 adults aged 18 years and older in India, 18-74 in Canada, Republic of Ireland, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Africa, Türkiye, and the United States, 20-74 in Thailand, 21-74 in Indonesia and Singapore, and 16-74 in all other countries.

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