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Kiwis want to shop, recycle, plant for climate

10 July 2007

Media Release

Kiwis want to shop, recycle and plant their way out of climate change troubles

New Zealanders most want to shop, recycle and plant their way through the climate change problem.

According to the latest weighted ShapeNZ nationwide poll covering the views of 1378 respondents between June 15 and 20, Kiwis favour buying energy efficient appliances, light bulbs and cars ahead of alternatives like walking, cycling or taking public transport.

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%.

Asked to select from a list of 19 activities they would personally consider engaging in in the future to reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions and help manage climate change, respondents made a total of 8684 activity choices. The most popular choices (each gaining 10% popular support) are to shop for the right appliances and light bulbs.

Next most popular choices are buying a fuel efficient, low emission car and recycling household waste and conserving water (each 9%), followed by planting trees to offset emissions (8%).

The least favoured activities are buying carbon offsets (2%), and alternatives to driving. Walking instead of driving attracts 6% of responses, cycling instead of driving 4% and using public transport or choosing an alternative everyday travel option rather than use a vehicle 5%.

Choosing to live or work in an energy efficient, sustainable building in the future attracts 5% of total responses. Choosing to rent or purchase a more energy efficient home achieves the same ranking.

No-one says they'll do nothing. On average each respondent said they'd engage in six out of the 19 activity choices.

The Chief Executive of the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development, Peter Neilson, whose organisation runs the ShapeNZ panel, says the results show everyone wants to help.

It also shows where people are prepared to start.

"They'll start at their place. The poll gives the Government and business helpful pointers on where people will start to engage on climate change. Moving small percentages of the market in each area of activity can have immense commercial and other outcomes," Mr Neilson says.

If 6% or more gave up their cars or moved to public transport, the sector might have trouble coping.

"But it's easy to accommodate a 9% shift to buying fuel efficient, low emissions vehicles, which also have health benefits because they pollute less. It's also a possibly big influence on the housing and rental market if 5% of the market wants to shift to an energy efficient home or work in a sustainable building.

"It looks like we're prepared to shop till the planet doesn't drop. There's a lot of sense in understanding how the response needs to be local, and people will save their families and neighbourhoods first. If we do, the planet can follow."

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 the general policy direction favoured 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.


© Scoop Media

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