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Go green, will pay, Chinese say
By Li Jing (China Daily)
Updated: 2009-02-19 07:53

Chinese citizens are prepared to dig deeper into their wallets to pay for clean energy if it helps in fighting climate change, according to a survey published by Greenpeace China.

The survey, conducted by global research group, Ipsos, has shown that the public strongly supports policy measures to combat global warming.

Go green, will pay, Chinese say

A total of 1,175 interviewees spread across 10 Chinese cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Harbin, said they were willing to pay an average of 19.15 percent more for clean energy, such as wind and solar power.

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The youth said they would be willing to pay the most, with respondents aged between 15 and 24 saying they would accept an average price hike of 22 percent for clean energy.

Three-quarters of the respondents believed that energy-efficient technologies would provide a more reliable and efficient source of energy in the long run.

About 69 percent of people interviewed said these clean technologies would help economic growth while 58 percent believed they could create more jobs.

Sze Pang Cheung, Greenpeace China's Campaign Director, said the Chinese government should "take this high public acceptance of clean energy into consideration", and act immediately by "moving away from its heavy reliance on coal towards clean energy."

The survey results have been published just days before US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is to arrive in Beijing. Sino-US cooperation on climate change is one of the top topics on her agenda.

Clinton proposed that Tokyo and Washington find ways to help Beijing use energy-efficient designs for homes, office buildings and vehicles, a process that she said could help stimulate sustainable growth in all three countries.

Cooperation on clean energy and clean technologies between China and the US, the world's two largest greenhouse gas emitters, are "expected to yield the quickest and most substantial results," said experts in a recent report released by US Asia Society and the Pew Center for Climate Change.

Strengthening Sino-US cooperation on clean energy would enable China to respond to those issues more effectively, while offering enormous business opportunities and considerable returns to American investors, said Zhou Wenzhong, the Chinese Ambassador to the United States.

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