New Zealanders open to doing more to tackle climate change

Majority of Kiwis are open to doing more about climate change, according to new research commissioned by the EECA.

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 per cent of New Zealanders, including businesses, believe that climate change is happening.  88 per cent of people want companies to do more, and 76 per cent want the government to do more.  Most people (79 per cent) 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.

EECA chief executive Andrew Caseley said it’s heartening to see so many New Zealanders on board with the need to reduce climate change emissions.

“Energy use makes up 40 per cent 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,” Caseley said.

“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 per cent of New Zealanders believe reducing their environmental impact would impact their quality of life, while in business, 62 per cent 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 Caseley. “If New Zealanders want to find out how they can reduce their energy-related emissions, [they can] 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 programs to address carbon emissions from energy, Caseley said.

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