Energy Choice Differences Among Publics, Analyzing Social Inequality Point of View.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 10:45
Location: Hörsaal BIG 2 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Midori AOYAGI, National Institute for Environmental Studies, Japan
In this paper we discuss about the people’s support for nuclear power and renewable energy. From its results, we are able to see how people see their “desirable” future society.

Our data is from our nation-wide public opinion survey of October 2014. Effective responses were 1548 out of 3000 sampled based on Basic Residents Register.

Our results show that people who are higher in income, secure in their job status, and higher in education tended to support resuming nuclear power generation, and also tend to choose economy over environment. On the other hand, people who are not tended to support renewables, and to choose environment over economy.

How can we explain this “twisted” situation? People who are not better off put priority on safety over wealth, as they are more fragile when disasters happen. People who are better off put priority on economy over the environment, as keeping business as usual is the most risk-avoidable choice of theirs. Another explanation is the de-growth scenario. People who are currently not in better situation have already faced de-growth situation and have to accept it. But people who are currently in better situation want to keep their current lifestyle standard, and they actually can do it. This means that social inequality issue is behind the energy choice issues.

Thus, through choice of energy, we can see how people see their future image of their society.