Public attitudes and action on energy and climate change: December 2022

Publication date: March 2023



Our market research programme monitors the mood of the nation relating to climate change, energy emissions and efficiency, and topics like electric vehicles. Every quarter, we survey 750 adult New Zealanders to track their beliefs, behaviours and attitudes to energy use and climate change. This survey canvassed New Zealanders from October - December 2022.


It’s been another tough quarter for New Zealanders – all issues are being seen as increasingly important.

Inflation remained high for the quarter, with an annual inflation rate of 7.2% in December.

And this is translating into decision-making and real behaviours, with multiple data sources indicating a decrease in consumer spending over the Christmas period and an increase in consumer arrears.

It's a real issue that's being felt every day.



Questions of the quarter

Despite the tough context, only 8% of people reported they took no action against climate change. In this quarter, we asked people about their motivations for taking action, where they get their information about climate change from, and who their trusted sources are.

Climate action motivations

There’s a strong belief among reported motivations – that the value of our small actions all adds up.


Climate change information sources

Mainstream media is the overwhelming leader for climate information at 63% or respondents reporting it's their most frequent source, with social media next at 33%. There’s a big generational difference here, though – 74% of those over 50 are most likely to get their climate information from the media, compared to 48% of those aged 18-29.

Conversely, 53% of those 18-29 get climate change information from social media, versus 22% of those 50+ years old.​



Trusted sources

While the media and social media lead the pack in terms of most frequent sources for climate change information, just 40% of people report they trust the media, and only 14% trust social media. Environmental leaders top the list, at 41%.


There’s a disconnect between where people are currently getting their information versus who they’d like to hear from.


Read the full report

EECA will publish new reports each quarter to track how attitudes and actions are changing.

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