Risk Perception, Attitudes Towards the National Energy Choice and Climate Change Among Japan, UK, Norway, Germany and France

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 11:45
Oral Presentation
Midori AOYAGI, National Institute for Environmental Studies, Japan
Climate change and Fukushima nuclear power plants' accident are the two major policy factors for defining energy choice in each country. But responses are different among these five countries. This paper tries to analyze the differences and similarities of risk perception, attitudes towards the national energy choice and climate change among four countries, Japan, UK, Norway, Germany and France. Although Japan was severely damaged by the earthquakes and nuclear power accidents in 2011, the Japanese 2030 GHG reduction target still includes nuclear power as a main source of energy, while Germany decided to fade-out nuclear power in the long run.

The European four countries survey was a part of large EU project-EPCC, and Japanese survey was done by National Institute for Environmental Studies. Each survey was fielded between May and June 2016, using almost same questionnaires. Each sample size was over 1,000 adults, randomly selected nationally representative samples.

  1. A) Risk perception on climate change, policy support: people in this five countries are very much worried about climate change. More than 60% respondents in all five countries chose “We are already feeling the effect (of climate change).” Less than 16% of respondents see the causes are mainly “natural process”, rather than human activity.
  2. B) Nuclear power generation as a favorable energy source: Japan’s distribution is very like EU three countries, very high response rate in negative options. UK public is relatively positive in nuclear power.

Attitudes and risk perception towards the climate change and nuclear power are very much similar in Germany and Japan, but political consequences are different. We have to explore another factor for explaining this. Economy is the possible factor for this. Germany enjoys better economy, while Japan is suffering worst economic situation ever, people support economic over environment, according to our survey.