Issues New Zealanders care most about – sustainability poll

In Better Futures Colmar Brunton is  “Celebrating a decade of tracking New Zealanders’ attitudes & behaviours around sustainability”.

Trends show an increase in people concerned about the effects of climate change, and a commitment to live a sustainable lifestyle.

In a poll run between 4 and 11 December 2018 asked what issues people care most about.

  • Build up of plastic in the environment 72% – up 9
  • The cost of living 68% – no change
  • The protection of New Zealand children 67% – down 1
  • Suicide rates 67% – up 3
  • Violence in society 65% – down 4
  • Pollution of lakes, rivers and seas 64% – up 4
  • Caring for the ageing population 63% – new
  • The protection of my personal data online 62% – new
  • Availability of affordable housing 61% – up 2
  • Not having access to good affordable healthcare 60% – up 2

Trend of New Zealanders who express high level of concern around the impact of climate change on New Zealand

  • 2009 – 36%
  • 2010 – 31%
  • 2011 – 29%
  • 2012 – 33%
  • 2013 – 34%
  • 2014 – 41%
  • 2015 – 40%
  • 2016 – 45%
  • 2017 – 48%
  • 2018 – 55%

Commitment to living a sustainable lifestyle:

  • 2015 – low 17%, medium 59%, high 24%
  • 2016 – low 10%, medium 65%, high 25%
  • 2017 – low 10%, medium 60%, high 30%
  • 2018 – low 5%, medium 53%, high 42%

Who will always/mostly go meat free:

  • 2014 – 4%
  • 2015 – 5%
  • 2016 – 6%
  • 2017 – 7%
  • 2018 – 10%

Switching to an electric car or hybrid:

  • 34% thinking about switching
  • 22% thought about it but probably won’t
  • 27% don’t want to switch
  • 14% haven’t thought about it or don’t know

‘Sustainable’ travel practices:

  • 71% shop locally
  • 67% walk for short journeys
  • 57% drive in a more fuel-efficient way
  • 20% take public transport
  • 20% cycle for short journeys
  • 19% carpool for work
  • 9% pay to offset carbon on flights
  • 6% scooter for short journeys

Impact of plastic:

  • 85% say reducing disposable packaging is the right thing to do
  • 77% say they can make a difference by reducing use of disposable packaging
    …but…
  • Only 1% who buy lunch use reusable containers all the time.

‘Kinder’ businesses:

  • 86% “It is important for me to work for a company that is socially and environmentally responsible”
  • 90% “If I heard about a company being irresponsible or unethical, I’d stop buying their products or using their services”

On employers caring about society:

  • 67% agree their employer has values they believe in
  • 65% agree their employer actively supports society
  • 66% agree they would recommend their workplace to others

 

IPCC meeting in Christchurch on sustainable management of land and water

Regardless of views on climate change it is important that New Zealand and the world do as much as possible to work towards sustainable land and water use. Experts from around the world will meet in Christchurch this week to work on a report that will advise governments on this.

Stuff: Global experts gather in Christchurch to tackle climate change

Some of the world’s brightest minds are gathering in Christchurch this week to discuss how best to tackle the ever-pressing issue of climate change.

The city will host 120 scientists from 59 countries as they examine how to manage some of the thorniest problems caused by our rapidly-changing environment.

As members of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – a global coalition of scientists and academics – they will spend the next five days drafting a report that will inform and influence how governments deal with the problem in the decades ahead.

The report has a specific focus, to advise policy-makers on sustainable management of land and water, how to ensure millions of vulnerable people around the world have enough food, cutting greenhouse gases and how to address the growing problem of desertification.

Despite having a global focus, some of the key issues are close to the hearts of ordinary New Zealanders, such as how we can reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and deal with the impacts of climate change at the same time as producing more and high-quality food for a growing population.

The report should be very useful to the New Zealand government, and I’m sure Shaw will be keen to use it to support his climate change aims as Minister.

Associate Professor Bronwyn Hayward, a political scientist at the University of Canterbury and former IPCC lead author who is helping host the meeting, said: “It is a wonderful opportunity for the city to host 120 world specialists on land use and climate change – issues that are central for New Zealand’s future.

“And it’s a great chance to showcase some of the science and social science, alongside community activities, that are taking place already here in the wider region.”

It’s also good that Christchurch is hosting conferences again.

Sustainability – avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance.

In ecology, sustainability (from sustain and ability) is the property of biological systems to remain diverse and productive indefinitely. Long-lived and healthy wetlands and forests are examples of sustainable biological systems. In more general terms, sustainability is the endurance of systems and processes.

Humans have changed ecosystems enormously, and continue to do so. Things change naturally as well, life on Earth has evolved for a billion years.

It is critical that modern science and knowledge are used to limit irreversible damage.