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The Critical Relationship between Climate Change Awareness and Action: An Origin-Based Perspective

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journal contribution
posted on 2020-07-31, 05:16 authored by Tina Tiller, Christian SchottChristian Schott

While it is now widely accepted by scientists and governments that human activity contributes to climate change, there is a lack of understanding whether this realisation is now gaining greater attraction with the general public than it had 5 or 10 years ago. Additional gaps in knowledge relate to the link between awareness and action, which could be hypothesised to have become stronger in light of evidence being produced of some projected climate changes occurring already. This article examines climate change awareness and the link with travel-related decision-making by adopting an under-utilised origin perspective in Wellington, New Zealand. The findings, generated by a household mail survey, indicate that the majority of the respondents are aware of tourism’s contribution to climate change and think that it is likely that their lives in New Zealand will be negatively affected by climate change. However, when examining the respondents’ recent holiday decision-making, it is evident that for the overwhelming majority, climate change awareness does not appear to influence travel-related decisions. This article concludes by discussing demand-focused measures aimed at reducing the GHG emissions generated by tourism.