Public attitudes and action on energy and climate change

Our research shows there is real and urgent need to mobilise New Zealanders around climate change.

Publication date: April 2022

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Overview

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 2021.

Findings

In the October-December 2021 quarter, we saw the fallout from COVID-19 related disruption back as top-of-mind.

The results also show our belief in climate change is at a historic high, with 83% of New Zealanders believing climate change is real.

However, climate-related issues are being deprioritised over time, as immediate pressures come into play, such as housing affordability and the cost of living. And while 72% of people say they're prepared to change their behaviour to address climate change, 51% of people don't feel they know what to do, or where to find good information to help them act.

The Government will soon release its National Adaptation Plan consultation and the first of its Emission Reduction Plans. These two pieces of work will guide New Zealand's climate journey for the next few years. It's crucial New Zealanders understand and are engaged in national adaptation and mitigation strategies, as these plans will affect them.  

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

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