Public policy think tank Civic Exchange today released the results of a public opinion survey on Hong Kong people’s attitudes towards climate change. The survey revealed seven major findings:
1. Climate change as danger to future generations
The survey revealed that a large majority of the respondents saw climate change as a serious danger to their future descendants. Only one in a hundred regarded climate change as “no danger at all” to future generations. Women are more likely to regard climate change as very dangerous to their children than men.
2. Increased concern
In contrast to previous surveys, concerns for climate change rose from 11th place in 2001 to 2nd place in 2010 in the general environmental issues. Both the younger and older generation shared views about climate change and felt that both citizens and the government should increase their level of concern over climate change.
3. Higher government priorities
Public opinion of government making climate change as a top priority rose steadily since 2008. Over 60% of the respondents in the 2010 survey thought that the HKSAR Government should make climate change a top priority.
4. Hong Kong people are paying attention
Eight-‐five percent of respondents were exposed to some environmental news at least weekly, 42% on a daily basis. Apart from the media, about half of the respondents learned about the environment from discussions with family members and co-‐workers at least occasionally.
5. What effects concern you most?
Without prompting, respondents stated some of the effects of climate change that concerned them. The main concerns were: rising temperatures (49%), extreme weather (30%), rising sea levels (8%), flooding (5%) and drought (4%).
6. China (unfairly) takes the blame
Respondents ranked Mainland China as the worst in terms of supporting development of alternative energy, electric vehicles and energy efficient buildings and Denmark as the best.
7. Whom should Government listen to?
The survey revealed that 46% of respondents favoured environmental experts to guide the government in climate change issues. Business executives, political parties and politicians representing business interests are not trusted at all.
Christine Loh, CEO of Civic Exchange said, “Climate change is a major concern for Hong Kong people of all ages and social positions. From the survey results, we see that there is a clear support from the community for the HKSAR Government to take actions now to address climate change. ”
The survey was commissioned by Civic Exchange and conducted by the Hong Kong Transition Project, Hong Kong Baptist University in July 2010. 1,008 Hong Kong residents (age 15 and above) were randomly selected to partake this telephone survey in Cantonese, Mandarin, Hakka, Fujianese, or English.