Reducing energy demand in China and the United Kingdom: The importance of energy literacy

Cotton, Debby, Zhai, J., Miller, W., Dalla Valle, L. and Winter, Jennie (2021) Reducing energy demand in China and the United Kingdom: The importance of energy literacy. Journal of Cleaner Production, 278. ISSN 09596526

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As the impacts of climate change become increasingly visible across the globe, awareness of the need for cleaner energy and demand reduction is growing. Energy literacy offers a strong potential for explaining and predicting energy-related behaviours, yet research and policies focused on this topic remain limited. In this study, energy literacy was measured in a sample of 2806 university students in the United Kingdom and China, in addition to their wider environmental attitudes using the New Ecological Paradigm scale. Findings indicate that energy literacy was relatively high overall, but there were significant differences between the knowledge, attitudes and behavioural intentions of participants in the two countries. Whilst the UK respondents rated themselves significantly more highly on perceived knowledge of energy issues, Chinese respondents provided significantly more correct answers in a knowledge test. UK respondents demonstrated more positive attitudes towards energy conservation than those from China, and were more likely to report energy-saving behaviours. However, Chinese respondents exhibited higher levels of trust in government and businesses to take action on energy issues. This paper provides a novel insight into cultural differences which may be crucial to policy and practice, and evidences the potential benefits of utilising a combination of educational and structural change to support transition to a cleaner, low-energy society.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Energy literacy, higher education, knowledge, attitude, behaviour, policy
Depositing User: Ms Raisa Burton
Date Deposited: 28 Aug 2020 12:35
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2022 03:50
Related URLs: https://www.sci ... 9214?via%3Dihub (Publisher URL)

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