Does haze drive pro-environmental and energy conservation behaviors? Evidence from the beijing-tianjin-hebei area in china

Lingling Wang*, Tsunemi Watanabe*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Humans conduct themselves in relation to energy use; energy use has degraded air quality, as reflected by haze occurrence in countries such as China. Improving the population’s involvement in environmental and energy conservation necessitates understanding their motivation to behave under haze. Considering the social problems caused by haze conditions in China, this study used people’s risk perception as a basis to determine their motivations to perform pro-environmental and energy-saving behaviors. We analyzed motivation from privately and publicly oriented perspectives as well as adaptive and mitigative behavioral viewpoints. Motivation-related data were collected through face-to-face discussion and a survey of 506 respondents in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area, which is one of the most heavily polluted regions in China. We conducted multiple regression analysis to determine the extent to which socio-demographic characteristics and risk perception concerning haze predict motivation and actual behavior. Results showed that these factors explain 36.8% and 30.5% of privately and publicly oriented motivations, respectively, but more strongly explain more adaptive (i.e., privately oriented; 55.0%) than mitigating (i.e., publicly oriented; 8.8%) behaviors. Although the residents are motivated to behave equally for private and public purposes in initial conservation efforts, they tend to exhibit adaptive behavior more frequently than mitigating behaviors. These results serve as a reference in encouraging China’s residents to act pro-environmentally and use energy conservatively, thereby contributing to environmental and energy saving education for the society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


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