Assessing awareness of and attitudes towards climate change in the New Zealand pastoral sector

Funding Body University of Otago
Total Contract Value  $36,313
Start Date January 2009
End Date
December 2009
Principal Investigators Chris Rosin
Staff Involved
Chris Rosin, Mark Cooper

Brief Abstract

The project seeks to address the lack of verifiable data on farmers’ understandings of and attitudes toward climate change, including the perceived need for adaptation and the sense of responsibility for mitigation.  Research with farmers on the issue of climate change since 2008 has shown greater ambivalence on the topic than is often portrayed in public forums or among agricultural policy makers.  While several attitudinal surveys have been conducted, the data are not readily available and the topics are specifically directed at either government mitigation policies or to defend political positions of particular interest groups.  In order to provide a more general understanding of the state of response to climate change, the project is analysing data from over 1000 surveys with questions examining: awareness of climate change and its causes; readiness to adapt to future climate change; extent of responsibility for mitigation in the pastoral sector; and desirability of mitigation options.  A report on the survey findings is expected in late February, followed by articles submitted to regional and international journals.