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Thursday, October 14, 2021

More ambitious climate action needed say Australians in 2021 Climate of the Nation Poll

The Australia Institute commissioned Climate of the Nation survey. This is  the longest continuous survey of community attitudes to climate change in the country.  The Climate Institute produced the report from 2007-2017 before the survey was taken over by the Australia Institute.

The quantitative survey was conducted by YouGov from 2-11 August 2021. The sample comprised 2,626 Australians aged 18 years and older. The overall margin of sampling error is 1.91%. The sample was distributed throughout Australia.

By the numbers:

  • 82% of Australians are concerned climate change will result in more bushfires, more droughts and flooding, and animal and plant species extinction
  • 82% of Australians support a phase-out of coal fired power stations
  • 79% of Australians rank solar in their top three preferred energy sources, compared to 15% for coal and 19% for gas
  • 75% of Australians are concerned about climate change
  • 74% of Australians support state governments putting in place incentives for more renewable energy
  • 71% of Australians support government subsidies to reduce the cost of purchasing an electric vehicle
  • 70% of Australians would consider switching to electric hot water systems
  • 69% think Australia should set targets and implement domestic action to limit global warming to 1.5-2°C and achieve net zero emissions
  • 67% of Australians think Australia should be a world leader in finding solutions to climate change
  • 66% of Australians think the Australian Government should stop new coal mines
  • 64% of Australians support requiring all new car sales in Australia to be zero emissions vehicles by 2035
  • 61% of Australians support a levy on fossil fuel exports to help pay for climate disasters
  • 60% of Australians support Australia following the IEA pathway and not approving new gas, coal or oil projects
  • 55x is the factor by which Australians overestimate gas and oil industry contribution to Commonwealth revenue
  • 23% of Australians support the current level of fossil fuel industry subsidisation, compared to 57% that oppose it
  • 12% of Australians prefer Australia’s economic recovery to be primarily powered by gas, while 63% prefer renewables investment

Richie Merzian, Climate & Energy Program Director, The Australia Institute, sums up the survey:

Climate of the Nation 2021 reveals the extent of the hunger Australians have for leadership on climate change. Two-thirds agree that Australia should be a world leader in finding solutions to climate change. More than two-thirds want Australia to commit to net zero emissions and set targets to limit global warming to 1.5-2°C. At the very least, that requires halving Australia’s emissions this decade (approximately doubling the current 2030 emissions reduction target) and not approving new gas, coal, or oil projects. While Australians support changes at a policy level, they are also willing to make changes themselves; to electrify their homes and their vehicles and power them using sun, wind, water and batteries.

Australian diplomacy in 2021 has thus far been disappointing. Our leaders have stubbornly resisted increasingly urgent calls by the United Nations and our key allies to increase Australia’s climate ambition and decrease our reliance on fossil fuels. 

I am not going to even try and summarise each section of this report but present 13 of what I consider to be the key graphs. 

Watch the launch of this survey report 13 October 2021, with Labor Shadow Spokesperson for Climate Change Chris Bowen on Youtube or below.

The Graphs showing community concern


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