China's young favor sustainable consumption, but want cars first 2007-08-20 16:35:51   Print

    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.

Editor: Song Shutao
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