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Abstract

This study aims to show how Australian households perceive climate change and what they are prepared to do to reduce the harmful effects of climate change. A web-based survey in November 2008 asked approximately 600 New South Wales households about their willingness to pay additional household expenses caused by the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) proposed by the Australian government. The Contingent Valuation Method (CVM), a widely used non-market valuation technique, was applied. Results of the study show there is a positive demand to mitigate climate change in Australia resulting from a wish to avoid climate change. Households’ willingness to pay (WTP) for climate change was, however, significantly curbed as households was uncertain about the extent of climate change and whether climate change policies are effective. Australian household support for the CPRS is influenced by schemes of other major greenhouse gas emitting countries (global co-operation). Only when people who didn’t answer the survey are assumed to value climate change mitigation the same as people who did answer the survey, do the benefits of the CPRS, as estimated by respondents’ WTP, exceed its costs.

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