Awareness that coal-powered energy is environmentally degrading insignificantly affects its consumption

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Abstract

This paper contributes findings from a social survey conducted to examine individual awareness of coal’s non-renewability, environmental issues, and home energy behaviours. The sample exhibited high (86%) awareness of coal’s non-renewability and 74% self-identified energy issues as key environmental problems affecting their lives. Government presumptions that education campaigns are needed to increase Australian public awareness of carbon emissions and may induce pro-environmental energy behaviours are questioned. Energy issue awareness failed to significantly affect 4 home energy behaviours (choosing A/C settings, type of home temperature control, turning lights off in unoccupied rooms, turning appliances off standby) for ‘environmental sustainability’ reasons. Findings support international research documenting disparity between individual awareness of environmental issues and pro-environmental actions for such issues. Consistent with prior research, age was the most significant factor affecting pro-environmental energy behaviours. Older individuals were most likely to consider environmental sustainability for home temperature and A/C settings. Education, age, and energy issue awareness did not significantly affect ‘low stakes’ consumption behaviours (appliances or lights) for environmental reasons. In locations with non- renewable energy, policy and education initiatives improving knowledge that aggregated carbon consumption from seemingly minor individual behaviours may reduce environmental degradation may make ‘unnecessary’ energy consumption less culturally normative or acceptable.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationE3S Web of Conferences 158, 02001 (2020)
Subtitle of host publication2019 7th International Conference on Environment Pollution and Prevention (ICEPP 2019)
Number of pages6
Volume158
Publication statusPublished - 23 Mar 2020
Event2019 7th International Conference on Environment Pollution and Prevention: ICEPP 2019 - Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 18 Dec 201920 Dec 2019
https://www.science-community.org/en/node/203656
https://www-e3s-conferences-org.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/articles/e3sconf/abs/2020/18/contents/contents.html (conference website)
https://www-e3s-conferences-org.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/articles/e3sconf/pdf/2020/18/e3sconf_ICEPP2019_Statement.pdf (statement of peer review)

Conference

Conference2019 7th International Conference on Environment Pollution and Prevention
CountryAustralia
CityMelbourne
Period18/12/1920/12/19
Internet address

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  • Cite this

    Ragusa, A. T. (2020). Awareness that coal-powered energy is environmentally degrading insignificantly affects its consumption. In E3S Web of Conferences 158, 02001 (2020) : 2019 7th International Conference on Environment Pollution and Prevention (ICEPP 2019) (Vol. 158) https://www.e3s-conferences.org/articles/e3sconf/abs/2020/18/contents/contents.html