2022 was the first year a Life in Christchurch survey focused on climate change and climate action. We heard from 3,400 people, here is a summary of what you told us.

Perceptions of challenges

Respondents generally feel that climate change, climate action and other environmental issues are important issues in Christchurch and need to be addressed, although other issues such as the cost of living and violence in society, do feature more highly.

Respondents think that the top contributors to emissions are:

  • How we travel (60%)
  • The waste we produce (53%)
  • Deforestation (36%)

61% of respondents said that using an electric car, bus or bike will have the biggest impact on reducing a household's emissions.

It is encouraging to see that respondents know transport is our biggest emissions contributor, and are aware of ways to reduce their household's transport emissions.

Take a look at our Emission Tracker(external link) to get a better understanding of our biggest emission sources.

Who's taking climate action?

Respondents are already doing a range of things to help reduce their climate impact, and many indicated they want to do more. The top actions taken are:

  • Recycling as much as possible (80%)
  • Reducing waste/rubbish (61%)
  • Shop and buy local products (49%)

There is an opportunity for more actions to be taken, with a lower proportion reporting catching the bus, using an electric vehicle and generating their own solar energy.

These were popular actions that respondents said they would like to do more of, however, the cost and effort of taking these actions were often said to be a barrier.

How prepared are we?

Respondents understand and agree that we all need to make changes to reduce the impacts of climate change, and it should be factored into our decision making

  • 76% agree that they are prepared to change their own behaviour in order to reduce their emissions
  • 68% agree that reducing their emissions now will have a positive impact on how they live in the future

Generally, respondents agree that there is an expectation that we all need to take action to reduce our emissions.

Respondents tend to think their level of knowledge about climate action is good or very good. The most common sources for climate information are; online websites, other websites and online resources and television.

Climate action and businesses

Generally, respondents feel that the business sector has a role to play in taking climate action, but opinions are mixed about the commitment from the business sector and the transparency about what businesses are doing to reduce their emissions.

Respondents think businesses could be doing more to reduce their emissions and take climate action.

The majority of respondents purchasing decisions are influenced 'a little bit' (50%) or 'a great deal' (33%) by a business or brand's social and environmental actions.

This presents significant opportunities for businesses and brand's to embrace social and environmental actions, making it easier for consumers to choose their brand.

Local government

Generally, respondents would like to see us take action, be bold and lead the way to carbon zero, but there is scepticism around whether we will be able to reach our targets.

59% of respondents are aware that we have emissions reduction targets for Christchurch, while 41% are unaware.

Respondents aren't overly confident we will be able to reach our emission reduction targets for 2030, with 36% who disagree and 35% who neither agree nor disagree. 

Opinions are mixed about whether we are investing enough in climate action and reducing our emissions.

The full summary of results can be found in the 2022 Life in Christchurch Climate Change and Action Report [PDF, 1.4 MB].

Our Climate Action page has more information about our climate targets and ways you can take climate action.