The Dernogalizer

August 11, 2009

Japan Poll: Vote for Climate Leadership

Filed under: Energy/Climate,National Politics — Matt Dernoga @ 11:03 pm
Tags: , ,

Back in July, I made a post almost immediately after Japan’s prime minister decided to dissolve parliament, realizing this could be a big opening for a new climate leadership from Japan when we need it most.  As I observed then, the main Japanese opposition party that may take power favors considerably more aggressive emissions targets of 25% below 1990 levels by 2020.  This is in comparison to only 8% below 1990 levels for Japan’s current leadership.  Please see my previous post on this subject on why Japanese leadership on this issue going into Copenhagen could be a big deal.  Below is a press release I just got on how polls say Japanese voters support these strong emissions targets.  Of course it would make sense that if a party is so unpopular it has to dissolve parliament, the current status quo is not going to poll well, which was why my previous post on this topic was optimistic for change.

As Elections Loom, Japan Votes Climate

National poll says strong emission targets, green jobs and clean energy could swing the vote

Climate change could make all the difference as Japan prepares for parliamentary elections this month, according to a new country-wide survey in which 76% of Japanese voters say they are more likely to vote for a party with a strong climate policy.

“Climate change and green jobs are the sleeper issues in this election,” said Ricken Patel, director of global campaign network Avaaz.org which commissioned the poll. “The Japanese public demands more from its politicians in these critical policy areas — and parties who don’t respond could lose out on millions of swing votes.”

Critically, climate could play a key role in the winning the support of undecided voters, of whom more than two-thirds (69%) say they would be more likely to vote for a climate-friendly party.

“The parties have not yet highlighted climate change in their election campaigns,” said Kimiko Hirata, Director, Kiko Network. “But as many voters are still undecided, parties that strengthen their climate policies will have a good chance to get these climate voters on their side.”

While many voters say they don’t know enough about the climate positions of the two main parties DPJ and LDP, more support the DPJ’s position (40% support) than the LDP’s (20%). Asked specifically about emission reduction targets, 50% of voters support the DPJ plan to aim at 25% emission cuts by 2020 from 1990 levels, while only 29% favour the LDP target of 8% cuts by 2020.

“The statistics show that climate voters are currently spread across every party. That means every party can potentially win votes from the others if they ramp up their climate rhetoric and match this with policies to deliver green jobs and clean energy,” said Naoyuki Yamagishi, Head of the Climate Change Programme at WWF Japan.

The findings, released today by a coalition of national and international groups including Kiko Network, WWF and Avaaz.org, also show that a climate-friendly “Green New Deal” for the economy is “very important” to secure the vote of 19% of the electorate.

“We’ve found that a critical chunk of the population fits the profile of a ‘green economy voter’. A bloc of voters this size could swing the election,” said Patel of Avaaz.org. “As in Australia and the USA, leaders with strong climate policies could oust long-time incumbent parties who were blocking strong action on climate change.”

For more information or to arrange interviews please contact:

· Ricken Patel, Director, Avaaz.org:   +1 646 229 5416 (EST), +1 888 922 8229 (EST), +32 470 860 660 (CET). media@avaaz.org

· Kimiko Hirata, Director, Kiko Network, Tokyo:  +81 3 3263 9210. khirata@kikonet.org

· Masako Konishi, WWF Japan, Tokyo: +81 3 3769 3509. konishi@wwf.or.jp

· Masahiko Aida, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner (polling firm), Washington DC:  Washington DC: +202-478-8300. maida@gqrr.com

Key findings (full pollster memo attached):

· 76% of voting-age citizens say that they would be more likely to vote for a party with strong climate policies. Only 12% say they would be less likely. Among LDP supporters, 79%, and among DPJ, 81 % say they would be more likely to support a party with strong climate policies. Among undecided voters, 69% say they would be more likely to vote for a climate-friendly party.

· 19% of respondents say that a the development of a clean energy economy – a green new deal – is very important to their vote. These voters are currently spread out across every party, representing 24% of LDP/CGP voters, 20% of DPJ voters, 21% of other parties’ supporters, and 16% of undecided voters.

· From what they already know about the two major parties’ climate policies, voters prefer the DPJ’s by an impressive 2:1 margin, with 40% saying the DPJ’s position is closer to their own and only 20% saying the LDP’s is.

Methodology: International polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner (Washington DC, USA) conducted a telephone survey research of nationally representative Japanese citizens of 20 years and above with a random digit dialing sampling frame. The fielding period was 12-27 July. A total of 970 respondents responded.  Adams Communication (Tokyo, Japan) conducted actual telephone interviews using CATI (Computer-assisted telephone interviewing). The survey is demographically and regionally representative of the Japanese voting-age population. Random digit dial CATI phone interviewing is standard practice for polling in the developed world.

More information on the poll methodology can be obtained by contacting the pollster (contact above).

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3 Comments »

  1. […] Cross-posted from: here […]

    Pingback by Japan Poll: Vote for Climate Leadership « It’s Getting Hot In Here — August 11, 2009 @ 11:05 pm | Reply

  2. […] government’s position going into the election was 25% below 1990 levels by 2020.  The second post focused on the fact that the positions the challengers held on clean energy, stronger emissions […]

    Pingback by Japan has new Pro-Climate Leadership « The Dernogalizer — August 30, 2009 @ 12:38 pm | Reply

  3. […] government’s position going into the election was 25% below 1990 levels by 2020. The second post focused on the fact that the positions the challengers held on clean energy, stronger emissions […]

    Pingback by Japan has new Pro-Climate Leadership « It’s Getting Hot In Here — August 30, 2009 @ 12:41 pm | Reply


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