Public attitudes to climate engineering research and field experiments: Preliminary results of a web survey on students' perception in six Asia-Pacific countries

Masahiro Sugiyama
Assistant Professor, Policy Alternatives Research Institute, the University of Tokyo

Takanobu Kosugi
Professor, College of Policy Science, Ritsumeikan University

Atsushi Ishii
Associate Professor, Center for Northeast Asian Studies, Tohoku University

Shinichiro Asayama
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Center for Social and Environmental Systems Research, National Institute for Environmental Studies


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There is a growing literature on public surveys regarding solar geoengineering, but the spatial coverage has been mostly limited to the Western societies. However, the non-Western voices are paramount to climate engineering governance since technology's reach is global and since different cultures and socio-political backgrounds might substantively affect governance discourse. Here we report a preliminary analysis of an international webbased survey conducted in March 2016, targeting university students in Japan, Korea, Australia (OECD countries), China, India, and the Philippines (non-OECD), a diverse set of six countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Our questionnaire builds on earlier studies by Mercer et al. (2011) and Merk et al. (2015) but digs deeper into the aspect of field experimentation. The survey results show that non-OECD undergraduates tend to be more seriously concerned about climate change and open to the idea of climate engineering than OECD counterparts. Majorities of the students believe that an international framework is needed and that scientists should openly disclose all the results of field tests, including negative ones.