Public Environmental Concern in Taiwan

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 10:45 AM
Room: F202
Oral Presentation
Shih-Yun KUO , Science Technology Disaster Reduction, New Taipei City, Taiwan
Tze-Luen LIN , National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
One of the top 21 emerging global environmental issues for the 21st century identified by the UNEP foresight report is “Social Tipping Points? Catalyzing Rapid and Transformative Change in Human Behavior for the Environment (rank #5).”  It can be thus inferred that humans need to change original destructive actions and need to learn to adapt to changing climate and environment (with combined influences of both natural and human forces).  Moreover, these actions need to be taken with a more rapidly speed.  However, the factors that trigger people’s behavioral changes are often differentiated due to countries’ different socio-economic contexts.  Therefore, it is important to understand how individuals in different cultures think of, know of, and plan to respond to these environmental challenges and to investigate the interrelationship between people’s environmental attitude and environmental behaviors.  This paper aims to answer these two research questions.

The study reports the data (n=2209) derived from 2010 Taiwan Social Change Survey (TSCS)—a longitudinal face-to-face national survey project conducted each year since 1985.  The results find that the Taiwanese public is concerned about environmental issues and they demonstrate a positive environmental value system in terms of protecting the environment, coexisting with the nature and other species, and respecting the earth.  However, they show a level of inconsistency in the frequency of taking pro-environmental behaviors.  While they often recycle for renewable resources, they rarely consume organic foods and drive less personal vehicles.  The preliminary analysis suggests that there are deficits between pro-environmental attitude and actual environmental actions.  To overcome this behavior deficit, it is perhaps necessary to provide net-benefit incentives to Taiwanese people.