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Carbon reduction knowledge and environmental consciousness in Taiwan

Jane Lu Hsu (Department of Marketing, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung, Taiwan)
Ting-Yu Lin (Department of Marketing, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung, Taiwan)

Management of Environmental Quality

ISSN: 1477-7835

Article publication date: 12 January 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine people’s knowledge about carbon reduction, environmental consciousness, carbon reduction intentions, and behaviours in Taiwan. The importance of this study is to reveal whether individuals with higher carbon reduction knowledge level have higher carbon reduction intentions and further take actions.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, eight questions about the causes and facts of carbon emissions were designed to examine respondents’ levels of knowledge. The New Ecological Paradigm Scale was utilised to measure respondents’ attitudes towards the environment and further to examine how those attitudes were linked to knowledge. Ten questions related to carbon reduction intentions in food consumption, transportation, energy saving, recycling and shopping were designed, another set of ten questions related to carbon reduction behaviours were included in the questionnaire. A formal survey using personal interviews was administered in Taipei, Taiwan following the age and gender distributions of the population.

Findings

Findings in this study indicate that people with higher knowledge levels about carbon reduction have a stronger environmental consciousness; however, they tend to have higher intentions in carbon reduction but not in actions. Findings in this study reveal that knowledge levels about carbon reduction cannot be used as indicators of carbon reduction behaviours.

Practical implications

The findings in this study provide information for the veracity of the general public with relatively high education levels and are aware of the severity of the carbon emission issue in Taiwan but not motivated to take actions in carbon reduction. Implications of this study are that although enhancing the general public’s environmental consciousness by building up their relevant knowledge of carbon reduction through education can be essential, encourage individuals to make environmentally friendly purchasing decisions, reduce energy consumption and waste, recycle, and be conservative with materials not easily decomposed naturally is fundamental.

Originality/value

Due to the fact that people living on islands and in densely populated coastal areas are those affected by climate changes severely, findings in this study provide valuable information for the education of the general public in Taiwan and other countries in the region.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This study is partially supported by National Science Council (NSC 97-2515-S-005-003-SC).

Citation

Hsu, J.L. and Lin, T.-Y. (2015), "Carbon reduction knowledge and environmental consciousness in Taiwan", Management of Environmental Quality, Vol. 26 No. 1, pp. 37-52. https://doi.org/10.1108/MEQ-08-2013-0094

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited