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21 February 2018

Moving to a Greener World

Written by: Damian Low, Vice President at Edelman

Energy, General, Purpose

SETTING THE SCENE

In 2017, DONG Energy decided to stop using coal, sell its oil and gas production, build the world’s largest offshore wind business, and ultimately, rebrand as Ørsted* after Danish scientist Hans Christian Ørsted.

To better understand public opinion and establish itself as a leading voice on the topic of the green energy transformation, Ørsted partnered with Edelman Intelligence to create the inaugural Green Energy Barometer. Surveying more than 26,000 people across 13 countries, the Barometer is the largest-ever study of attitudes towards the green transition. We designed the study specifically to determine if people want a green transformation, and what challenges and benefits they associate with it.

WHY IT MATTERS

Today, climate change and global warming is one of the most pressing issues facing the world, and technological developments make it easier than ever to use renewable and green energy sources. For the first time in history, green energy is cheaper than black energy.

THE RESULTS

The results of the Green Energy Barometer, which launched at COP23 in Bonn, showed strong global support for green energy from China to the U.S. to Sweden. Overall, a whopping 82% of respondents believe it is important to create a world fully powered by renewable energy.

Additionally, this support stands regardless of age, education level, or political ideology. This highlighted a strong call to action for businesses, politicians, and all stakeholders involved in the energy debate.

Additionally, we found that support for renewable energy is particularly rooted in interesting factors, such as:

  • National pride about technology leadership – 75% say they would be proud of their country if it invests time and money to become a global leader in green energy
  • Concern about climate change – climate change is considered to be the second most pressing challenge the world is facing, according to our respondents
  • Economic benefits – 73% say building and producing more green energy will boost economic growth
  • Societal benefits – 53% say there would be a reduction in health issues if their country was a leader in green energy

Whilst we believed there would be strong support, we did not expect to see such a united global demand with the vast majority across the globe wanting a transition to renewables. What was even more interesting was that people believe renewables will boost economic growth, which contradicts a long-held belief by some that they are costly to implement and run. The barometer shows that economic barriers are no longer in place which creates a great platform for countries to begin rolling out renewables and speeding up our transition to a greener society. This is further supported by the types of energy, people want their country to use more –  solar came first, closely followed by offshore and onshore wind. An additional, and very important benefit of undertaking this transition to renewables would be an increase in national pride in being a technology leader, which is a desire for all governments.

Overall, there is a very compelling story to tell about the green energy transformation and it was a source of great pride that we could share these results during COP23, a time where the entire world is especially paying attention to the climate change and green energy debate.

This research was conducted by Edelman Intelligence on behalf of Ørsted.

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