WELLINGTON, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- The proportion of New Zealanders who believe climate change is an urgent and immediate problem has fallen from more than three quarters to just over half in the last four years, according to a new survey.
The poll for the Carbon News website found that 52.4 percent of adult New Zealanders considered climate change to be either an urgent problem (21.4 percent) or a problem for now (31 percent).
14 percent said it was a problem for later, 19.5 percent said it wasn't a problem, and 14.1 per cent said they didn't know, according to a statement from Carbon News Friday.
A similar poll conducted in 2008 showed that 75.4 percent of New Zealanders considered it to be an urgent problem (26.1 percent) or a problem for now (49.3 percent), while 9.2 percent said it was a problem for later, 13 percent said it wasn't a problem, and 2.4 percent said they didn't know.
The statement from Carbon News, a specialist information service on the carbon markets, said the drop was in line with a recent survey by Yale University, which showed that over the same period, the number of respondents ranking climate change as a high or very high priority for the U.S. government had dropped from 54 percent to 40 percent.
The poll was taken as the New Zealand government has been easing the requirements on parts of the country's industries for its fledgling emissions trading scheme.
Carbon News editor Adelia Hallett said in the statement that the poll was part of an effort to keep the mostly-large corporates involved in emissions trading up to date on what their consumer markets were thinking.