Most Beijingers environmentally aware: Survey

By Chen Xin (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-06-30 06:47
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BEIJING - Residents of China's capital are strongly aware of the importance of environmental protection and are ready to pay more to buy energy-saving products, a recent survey has found.

The survey, jointly conducted by the Beijing social facts and public opinion survey center and Beijing Daily, polled 1,108 residents.

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On being asked if they would consider the energy-saving factor while buying amenities, 84 percent of the residents said they always consider the factor and 11.7 percent said they consider sometimes.

Some 91 percent said they are willing to buy energy-saving products. Among them, 95.2 percent said they were willing to pay more for such products, which are usually more expensive than the ordinary ones.

In the face of possible price hikes of natural gas, electricity and water, 40.2 percent polled believed a moderate price rise would help boost save energy and cut emissions in the city.

The residents were also required to self assess their awareness of environmental protection. About 64.1 percent said they were strongly aware.

When asked whether they use electricity-efficient lamps in their homes, 52 percent said all lamps they use are electricity efficient and 31.3 percent said most lamps were electricity efficient.

The poll showed 77.3 percent of the respondents own at least one energy-saving home appliance.

More than half of Beijing residents are trying to save energy out of habit, the poll revealed.

For instance, 57.4 percent said they often reuse water to irrigate flowers, clean the floor and flush the toilet, and 77.5 percent respondents said they often pull out the plug after turning off the TV set.

China announced last year that it plans to reduce carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP in 2020 by 40 to 45 percent compared with the level in 2005.

In the poll, 51.8 percent respondents believed the effort from individuals and families to save energy would have a big effect on the country's target, 34.5 deemed there would be some effect; while only 2.7 percent thought there would be no effect at all.

The poll showed most respondents also called for more extensive use of solar energy in the capital, wider application of new energy-saving technologies, more practical waste sorting in the community, and more subsidies from the government to purchase energy-saving products.

Xu Zuoru, an expert with the Beijing energy conservation and environmental protection center, said that at present, the middle- and low-income groups in Beijing are strongly aware of the importance of conserving energy.

"High income groups pursue a quality life and they would not care about how much energy they are consuming," Xu said, adding that they should practice a low carbon and environmentally friendly lifestyle.

Among the respondents with a monthly income of below 3,000 yuan, 60 percent said they always pull out the plug after turning off the TV set, and of those who earn more than 7000 yuan, only 37.5 percent said they did so.