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NZers want country to be global leader on climate

10 July 2007

Media Release

New Zealanders want country to become global leader on climate change, back Labour and National policies

New Zealanders want the country to become a global leader on climate change, not run with the pack or do as little as possible.

According to the latest ShapeNZ nationwide poll there is equal support (39% each) for the Prime Minister's aspirational goal for the country to become carbon neutral and the National Party's recently announced policy to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 50% of 1990 levels by 2050.

There is also an overwhelming wish for all the parties in parliament to reach a climate change policy agreement – and for the country to develop its own carbon neutral brand to be used on goods sold here and overseas.

The ShapeNZ poll results cover the views of 1378 respondents between June 15 and 20. Results are weighted by age, gender, personal income, employment status and party vote at the 2005 general election. The margin of error is + or – 2%.

The ShapeNZ panel is run by the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development. Membership is open to the public at www.shapenz.org.nz. The panel comprises a nationally representative population sample, compared with the 2006 census. The current Climate Change II survey closes on 31 July.

General course for New Zealand:

When asked about the general course New Zealand should follow when responding to climate change, 63% say the country should become a global leader, 27% say move at the same pace as other countries and 7% say do as little as possible.

Support for main parties' approaches:

According to the latest ShapeNZ nationwide climate change polling there is equal 39% support for the Prime Minister's aspirational goal for New Zealand to strive for carbon neutrality over time, and the National Party's new policy to achieve a 50% cut in 1990 level greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

There is also 87% support for the parties with seats in Parliament to reach a cross party agreement on climate change policies, so people and businesses can plan ahead, regardless of general election results. Support for a multi-party deal to provide certainty so people and businesses can plan ahead, rises to 87% among a sub-sample of 387 business decision makers (managers, proprietors and self employed).

A new carbon neutral label gets the big tick:

Seventy three per cent of people believe the Government should lead the development of a new carbon neutral label to be used on any authorised product or service for sale here or overseas.

And people say they would be more likely to buy products and services with a verified carbon neutral New Zealand label (34% more likely even if it costs a little more, 48% as long as it costs around the same as other products. 12% say it will make no difference.)

The poll is ongoing at www.shapenz.org.nz. Other results, including New Zealanders' detailed responses to policy proposals to bring in two new waste-related taxes; to mass insulate homes for health and climate change management benefits; and on what actions Kiwis will take personally to manage climate change are covered in other Business Council media releases today. They are available at www.nzbcsd.org.nz, along with the Climate Change Survey II results report.

Business Council Chair Nick Main, also Chairman of Deloitte, says New Zealanders want climate change solutions now and don't want the country to be a "reluctant follower".

"There is broad support for taking real action on climate change now. Many smart businesses are taking up the challenge by measuring their carbon footprint and making moves to cut emissions. Businesses or business organisations that want to slow down our adaptation to climate change have completely missed the public mood for action."


© Scoop Media

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