New Zealand has one of the highest rates of climate change scepticism in the developed world – a study has revealed. Surprisingly we have more sceptics per capita than in the US – where large numbers of right-wing media and politicians refuse to accept climate change is man-made.
A new paper from the University of Tasmania – called Scepticism in a changing climate: a cross-national study – found 13 per cent of New Zealanders were climate change sceptics.
It was third only to Norway (15 per cent) and Australia (17 per cent). The United States came in at 12 per cent.
The study – which was published in the journal, Global Environmental Change – was based on surveys taken in each of the 14 countries and was designed to be representative of adults aged over 18.
It found countries with higher levels of CO2 emissions corresponded with nations with higher rates of climate change scepticism.According to data compiled by the US Department of Energy, New Zealand was ranked 50 out of 214 nations for CO2 emissions per capita – with each Kiwi creating about 7.8 tonnes each year.
Scepticism also increased a country’s vulnerability to the effects of climate change – the study said.