Key Points:

An online poll on the new emissions trading law indicates more New Zealanders agree with the policy than don't.

The ShapeNZ poll had 2204 respondents between 9.30am on Wednesday and 10am yesterday.

Asked if they agreed with the emissions trading system, 39 per cent agreed (9 per cent strongly), while 26 per cent disagreed. Twenty-six per cent neither agreed nor disagreed, and 6 per cent did not know.

Only 10 per cent of people felt well informed on emissions trading, while 46 per cent felt somewhat informed.

The poll showed a continuing high concern among New Zealanders over climate change, with 76 per cent believing it was a problem to be dealt with now or urgently.

On the pace of the response to climate change, 39 per cent believed the country was moving at about the right pace, but a third thought it was too slow. One quarter thought the country was moving too quickly.

Among the business decision- makers polled, only 16 per cent felt well informed and half felt somewhat informed.

The New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development, which commissioned the research, said the results gave a broad tick to emissions trading and the pace of action on climate change.

But it also showed up a huge knowledge gap. Chief executive Peter Neilson said the information gap had to be plugged if businesses and households were to effectively lower emissions.

"While the emissions trading scheme may initially involve only about 400 firms with high emissions as points of obligation, the new move to put a price on will affect every business and household.

"We need to take other steps to encourage innovation and investment in low-carbon technology, and to help people take action to lower their own emissions."

Australia's Environment Minister, Peter Garrett, said yesterday that there was confusion there about such trading schemes.

"There are widely varying levels of comprehension ... the marketplace needs to understand if programmes are to be effective."

* The ShapeNZ respondents were weighted by age, gender, personal income, employment status and party vote in 2005 to provide a representative population sample. The margin of error was plus or minus 2.1 per cent.