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Gov't not doing enough on climate change: poll

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- As a result of aberrant global climate conditions in recent years and to ascertain public attitudes on climate change and sustainable energy issues the Taiwan Institute for Sustainable Energy (TAISE) conducted the fourth Survey on Taiwanese People's Attitudes toward Climate Change.

Overall, 90.7 percent of the public believes that climate change is currently underway and 65.3 percent believe the government does not pay it enough attention. Moreover, as many as 85.4 percent of the public feel that government efforts to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions have been insufficient and that it is therefore unable to mitigate the impacts of climate change on Taiwan.

Regarding the consequences of climate change, 50.8 percent of the public feel that Taiwan is a middle risk country. The survey results indicate that 68.3 percent of the public believe that to meet future energy requirements, Taiwan should first rely on renewable energy sources such as solar power, hydroelectricity and wind power, while 40.7 percent of the public expressed support for completing construction on the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant if it can comply with safety considerations. About 55 percent oppose nuclear power, representing a 4.4-percent decline in support from last year's figures.

With regard to support for public policies, 84.8 percent of the public support legislation for a Greenhouse Gas Reduction Bill, thereby leading to reducing domestic carbon dioxide emissions. At the same time, 46.7 percent expressed support for the policy of levying an energy tax.

In an effort to implement the polluter pays principle, 36 percent of those surveyed said it is appropriate to raise pricing for electricity and gas. About 85.2 percent support the government's policy of offering subsidies for purchases of energy efficient products.

The survey also found that 41.4 percent of the public believe that their behavior is in line with efforts to achieve energy efficiency and carbon reduction, while 78.4 percent of the public expressed a willingness to pay additional costs to make their homes more energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

The TAISE survey, commissioned by the Trendgo Research Co., was conducted between Feb. 10 and 16, 2014, by telephoning a random sample of 1,099 locals over the age 18, with a confidence level of 95 percent and a sampling error of within plus and minus 2.96 percentage points.

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