BEIJING, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- About 80 percent of young Chinese are
concerned about global warming, but 85 percent would happily buy a car, the main
cause of urban air pollution, given the chance.
In a survey of awareness of sustainable consumption, jointly conducted by
China Youth Daily and the British Council, about 0.4 percent of young Chinese
said they were unaware of the problem.
The survey of 2,500 people aged on average 30.1 and mostly living in large
or medium-sized cities in 31 provinces showed 76 percent said they did what they
could to save energy and electricity.
However, 38 percent of respondents wanted to live in a big house, 21
percent wanted to travel abroad and most would buy a car if they had the money.
The survey indicated that 78 percent of young Chinese expected the
government to be responsible for environmental management.
Dong Shi, economic editor of China youth Daily, said the survey indicated
that young people were prepared to support environmental protection and
sustainable consumption if they could maintain their potential living standards.
"If a high quality of life is defined by luxury cars or homes, consumers
will think their quality of life would drop by reducing car and energy usage, so
they do nothing," said Pan Jiahua, a researcher with the sustainable development
center of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
Jiang Kejun, researcher of the institute of energy of the National
Development and Reform Commission said that the government would levy resource
and fuel tax to encourage sustainable consumption.
"But awareness of rational consumption and real action is the key. Saving
energy and reducing pollution are the responsibilities of not only the
government, but each citizen," Pan said.