What Assures Consumers on Climate Change?
17 July 2008 at 11:12 am
Preliminary results from an Australian survey have found that more than 81 per cent of consumers agree that everyone needs to take more responsibility for their personal contribution to global warming but they are not sure that business or government can be trusted to provide the right information.
A online survey called "What Assures Consumers on Climate Change" was conducted by Net Balance Foundation, AccountAbility and LRQA Australia.
The early survey results found that 63 per cent understands that there needs to be a significant change in lifestyle including personal sacrifices to prevent global warming.
However only 15 per cent of those surveyed trust global or local business or the Federal Government (20 per cent) for information about global warming although as many as 68 per cent trusts scientists and 53 percent trust environmental groups.
The survey found that 68 per cent of Australian consumers want government to phase out products that contribute to climate change.
They also want more credible information about the environmental impact of products that contribute to global warming.
While half of the respondents are troubled to judge how environmentally friendly their lifestyle is (51 per cent), more than a third of respondents say that efforts to stop global warming must not get in the way of ordinary people’s rights to heat their homes, travel to work or take a vacation (39% agree, with 35% undecided),
The preliminary results from Australia reinforce those from the 2007 UK & US survey, which asked the same questions of UK & US consumers.
Terence Jeyaretnam, Director of Net Balance Management Group says the picture emerging from the Australian research is a nation of conscientious but cautious consumers.
He says there are important signposts to what consumers want, such as timely and appropriate information from businesses, more leadership from companies and government, and recognised and rigorous standards from trusted sources of information.
He says it is a clear call to Australian business and government to demonstrate leadership and give people the confidence they lack when making environmentally aware purchasing decisions.
So, if nearly 80% of Australian consumers are unsure about business or government claims on climate change and only 21% consider the UN and the work of its associated bodies effective, then ‘What Assures Consumers on Climate Change’ in Australia? What is required to help make the difference that will be needed to tackle Global Warming? This will be the focus of the research report, which will be published in August 2008.