Climate action doesn’t need to be another burden to carry

In fact, it can be liberating and positive.

EECA research shows that most New Zealanders are concerned about climate change and want to do something about it – but they don’t know where to start and worry about sacrificing lifestyle.

"This year has dealt us twin health and economic crises," EECA CEO Andrew Caseley says. "We've seen our society have to grapple with some overwhelming problems, but climate change hasn’t gone away.

"We launched our Gen Less platform last year to bring together individuals, organisations and government to take action on climate change, and we feel that the time is right to continue the message."

Saying no to wasted energy is about being empowered to waste less energy on the things we don’t care about.

Everyone's 'no', in terms of what we're happy to give up, will be different. It could be saying no to always driving to get somewhere or flying to meet customers face-to-face, because that’s how it’s always been done. Or saying no to buying “stuff” we don’t really need or want out of social expectations.

In spite of the pandemic, research highlights that climate change is still top of mind, with 83% of Kiwis believing climate change is real, compared to 78% at the beginning of the year.

The same survey found the pandemic has made people more open to changing their behaviours in response to climate change.

Seventy-seven percent said we’ll have to change how we live because of climate change, but agreed these changes can be positive – a statistically significant increase of 4% from before April 2020. Likewise, 4% more (75%) were prepared to change their own personal behaviour in order to reduce climate change.

If we want to look after our future, we have to think about it now.

Andrew Caseley, CEO, EECA

"This is absolutely true for climate change. Small changes made by everyone will make a big difference if we start acting collectively now.

"During lockdown, many of us made changes that coincidentally reduced our energy-related emissions. The real revelation was discovering that these changes – such as driving less and working from home one day a week – can make life more enjoyable too."