Why are Some People Willing to Pay for Renewable Energy in Post-Fukushima Japan

Event: SEEPS Conference 2015
Conference Paper

A growing body of science maintains that anthropogenic climate change poses a grave threat to the well-being of earth and its inhabitants. Academics, environmentalists, and policymakers similarly concur that there is no single silver bullet solution to climate change; rather what is needed are well-integrated and long-term strategy. Yet adopting and implementing coherent and forward-looking strategies is less about achieving a consensus among science and policymakers than overcoming several persistent barriers to policy change. Science-based solutions need to be embedded in supportive enabling environments.
This paper is therefore intended to offer insights into what factors could constitute an enabling environment that can help surmount one of the most intractable barriers to climate policy change: namely, an individual’s willingness to pay (WTP). In particular, the paper focuses on what variables affected Japanese citizen’s WTP for renewable energy following the March 2011 Fukushima triple disaster. The results are based on surveys from 4000 respondents conducted in 2013 two years after the Fukushima nuclear crisis that caused a nationwide debate on the shift from nuclear to alternative energy sources.