The Taiwan Institute for Sustainable Energy (TAISE) on Thursday published the results of a survey, which showed that the majority of Taiwanese said the government is not paying enough attention to issues related to climate change and that the nation’s future energy use should not exceed the current level.
The nationwide survey conducted in March polled people’s views on climate change, the nation’s energy policies and commitment to reduce carbon emissions, as well as on nuclear energy.
The results indicated that 63.1 percent of Taiwanese have discussed climate change and its impact with family and friends, while 62.6 percent of respondents said the government should place more emphasis on climate change.
Among the six municipalities, Taipei residents are the least impressed with government efforts to help Taiwan adapt to climate change, with 72.4 percent of people saying that the government should do more about the problem.
Regarding the government’s efforts to promote energy conservation and carbon emissions — a policy first introduced by President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration almost seven years ago — 60.9 percent of people said they are not satisfied with the nation’s performance on energy efficiency over the past five years, and that its results in curbing carbon dioxide emissions are “less than optimal.”
People who live in southern Taiwan are the most critical of the government’s efforts to save energy and reduce carbon emissions, with 86.5 percent of people saying that efforts in these areas are insufficient.
Asked whether they adopt practices to save energy and cut carbon emissions in daily life, 58 percent of respondents said that they have room for improvement, marking an increase of 5.3 percentage points compared with results from last year.
Taoyuan and Kaohsiung are the two areas where the most people think they could do better in conserving energy and cutting carbon emissions, with 69 percent of respondents saying that they are very mindful of their responsibilities.
Meanwhile, 53.7 percent of respondents said that, even with their safety guaranteed, they would still oppose nuclear energy, while 71.9 percent said they support the currently implemented “floating electricity prices,” where the government adjusts energy prices according to international fuel prices.
Drawing on findings by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and a George Mason University survey, both conducted in 2013, the TAISE survey indicated that Taiwanese are more concerned about climate change than people in the US, with 90.7 percent of respondents saying that they think climate change has taken place, compared to 63 percent of those surveyed in the US who hold the same opinion.
Furthermore, 85.2 percent of Taiwanese say that they hope to receive government subsidies when they purchase energy-efficient products, such as photovoltaic panels and electric scooters, while the proportion of people in the US who feel the same way is about 71 percent.
The survey collected 1,093 valid samples from Taiwanese adults across the nation, with a confidence of 95 percent and a 2.96 percent margin of error.
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