Exploring the effects of personal carbon trading (PCT) system on carbon emission and Health Issues: a preliminary study on the Norfolk Island

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Webb, G, Hendry, A, Armstrong, B, McDermott, R, Swinburn, B & Garry, E 2014, 'Exploring the effects of personal carbon trading (PCT) system on carbon emission and health issues: a preliminary study on the Norfolk Island', The International Technology Management Review, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 1-11.

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The Norfolk Island Carbon and Health Evaluation (NICHE) Program is a project to trial the effects of a Personal Carbon Trading (PCT) system aimed at reducing carbon emissions and obesity related behaviours. This paper reports on a series of factor analyses designed to test attitudinal associations from a baseline survey carried out on the island. A self-completed questionnaire was offered to a randomly selected adult in each of the 800 households on Norfolk Island in the South Pacific. This was the first part of a three-tiered baseline survey of the island following the WHO STEPS approach. Items designed to measure attitudes to obesity, global warming/climate change, and the process of Personal Carbon Trading were factor analysed using Principal Axis Factoring (PAF). Correlations between the derived factors and other variables from the study were then examined. Three main factors designated ‘weight consciousness’, ‘environmental consciousness’ and ‘optimism’ were found to account for over 53% of the total variance in the data amongst the measures related to environmental and health consciousness. A single factor was derived from analysis of the variables included to measure attitudes to PCT that explained 56% of the total variance. Significant associations (p<0.01) were evident between factors derived from attitudes to body weight and attitudes to carbon emissions and global warming. Correlations amongst the factors measuring attitudes to obesity and the environment and attitude towards PCT revealed significant relationships (p<0.01), even before PCT had been rolled out on the Island. The associations evident between obesity and environmental degradation could help reframe current discussions around climate change and obesity management and the role PCT can play in influencing health and environmental behaviours.

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