Survey: Chinese public willing to pay more for cleaner energy

Press release - 2009-02-17
Chinese city dwellers are willing to pay at least 17 percent more for cleaner energy such as wind and solar power according to a new Greenpeace China survey. Such cleaner technologies are part of a globally-recognized solution to stopping climate change. The survey results are revealed just days before US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives in Beijing with Sino-US cooperation on climate change one of the top topics on the agenda.

The Chinese public are happy to pay more to replace dirty power stations like this one with clean technology.

The survey, conducted by IPSOS for Greenpeace last month on 1,175 residents of 10 Chinese cities, is strong evidence that the Chinese public solidly support strong domestic policies aimed at stopping climate change, including higher prices for cleaner energy (an average 19 percent for all age groups). In particular, younger respondents said they would be willing to pay the most, with 15-24 year-olds saying they would accept an average price hike of 22 percent for cleaner energy.

Greenpeace China's Campaign Director Sze Pang Cheung said: "There is no excuse for the government not to take this high public acceptance of cleaner energy into consideration and take immediate actions to drastically address the threats of global warming by moving away from its heavy reliance on coal towards clean energy."

Three-quarters of the respondents said they believed energy-efficient technologies would provide a more reliable and efficient source of energy in the long term, well over half (69 percent) believed these technologies would help economic growth and 58 percent said they could create more jobs.

Hillary Clinton is expected to visit Beijing from February 20 to 22. Former senior White House negotiator at the Kyoto Protocol negotiations Todd Stern will accompany Clinton as President Barrack Obama's climate change envoy. Her visit provides an historic chance for the US and China to kick-start a strong concerted effort to tackle climate change by the world's two biggest greenhouse gas emitters.

"It is crucial that Washington and Beijing being to work together on a global solution to climate change," Sze said. "It is time for both the US and China to take the lead."

This is the first time that a survey on public attitudes to coal and clean energy has been carried out in mainland China. The participants were asked a range of questions on their understanding about climate change and their opinions on the energy industry including their awareness on coal pollution. The cities taking part in this survey were Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Kaifeng, Yinchuan, Linfen, Harbin, Nanjing, Chongqing, and Zhuzhou.

VVPR info:

Tom Wang: Chief Media Officer, Greenpeace China
+86-10-65546931 ext 151; +86-13910902617;