After Kyoto - ‘emphatic’ support for further action on climate change Media Release

Mar 10, 2008 - 9:45am

Australians strongly support the ratification of Kyoto – to take effect today - and expect the Government to introduce bold measures to reverse Australia’s rising greenhouse pollution by 2012, according to exclusive polling commissioned by the Climate Institute.

The nationwide polling* demonstrated that fewer than one in ten (7 per cent) Australians now oppose Kevin Rudd’s act to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, with two-thirds (64 per cent) declaring their support for the decision.

“The polling is emphatic - opposition to Kyoto Ratification has withered away, and we are also seeing a hunger for strong measures from the Government on climate change,” Mr John Connor, CEO of the Climate Institute, said today.

“Strong short-term domestic targets are favoured by a clear majority, with more than three quarters of Australians (78 per cent) believing that we should reverse growing levels of greenhouse pollution to achieve real reductions by 2012.

“Only 4 per cent of Australians oppose this negotiating position,” Mr Connor said.

In order to achieve this, an overwhelming majority of Australians want the Government to introduce measures in the next 12 months to address: energy efficiency (90 per cent); clean electricity generation (88 per cent); and motor vehicle emissions (87 per cent).

Other key findings of the report include:

  • Allmost three quarters of Australians (73 per cent) expect the Government to show strong international leadership by introducing stronger policies to reduce greenhouse pollution in Australia;
  • A similar number (68 per cent) believe we should be doing more to help developing countries, reduce their emissions; and
  • Most Australians do not want action delayed because of arguments about jobs.  Fewer than one in three (29 per cent) agreed that the government should “delay action on climate change if jobs are at risk”. (The remaining 71 per cent either opposed this position or had no real opinion.)

“The take home message from this is that Australians strongly support the measures that have already been taken on climate change, but now want to see further action so that Australia is recognised as a world leader in tackling climate change,” Mr Connor said.

“The Rudd Government should treat these findings as an invitation to push forward with decisive policies and ambitious targets on reducing greenhouse pollution,” Mr Connor said.

The Climate Institute’s comprehensive 2008 Climate of the Nation attitudinal report will be released later this month, including further research now underway.

*This research was conducted by Auspoll as part of their monthly omnibus survey. The survey was conducted online using a representative national sample of 1215 Australians 18 yrs and over. It was conducted from March 4th to March 6th, 2008.


CLIMATE INSTITUTE – CLIMATE CHANGE OMNIBUS REPORT

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This research was conducted by Auspoll as part of their monthly omnibus survey. The survey was conducted online using a representative national sample of 1215 Australians 18 yrs and over. It was conducted from March 4th to March 6th, 2008.

THERE IS NEGLIGIBLE OPPOSITION TO RATIFICATION OF KYOTO:

  • A total of 7 per cent of Australians now oppose the ratification of Kyoto (3 per cent strongly opposed and 4 per cent opposed), while 29 per cent expressed no real opinion.
  • Approximately two thirds of Australians (64 per cent) support Kevin Rudd’s act to ratify the Kyoto Protocol (33 per cent strongly supported this act, and 31 per cent supported it).
  • THERE IS SUBSTANTIAL SUPPORT FOR STRONG MEASURES AT HOME TO REDUCE GREENHOUSE POLLUTION:
  • Almost three-quarters of Australians (73 per cent) think Australia should lead the world by introducing stronger policies to reduce greenhouse pollution in Australia (33 per cent strongly support and 40 per cent support). Only 7 per cent of Australians oppose this position and 19 per cent have no real opinion.
  • AN OVERWHELMING MAJORITY OF AUSTRALIANS WANT THE GOVERNMENT TO INTRODUCE MEASURES IN THE NEXT 12 MONTHS TO ADDRESS ENERGY EFFICIENCY, CLEAN ELECTRICITY GENERATION AND MOTOR VEHICLE EMISSIONS.
  • Nine out of ten Australians (90 per cent) want the government to “make homes more energy efficient” (48 per cent strongly support and 42 per cent support).
  • Almost nine out of ten Australians (88 per cent) want the government to “ensure that new electricity generation comes from clean or renewable energy” (49 per cent strongly support and 39 per cent support this measure).
  • Some 87 per cent of Australians support government measures to “reduce their emissions from cars” (41 per cent strongly support and 46 per cent support).
  • There is virtually no opposition to any of these three potential measures. Only 2 per cent of Australians oppose measures to make houses more energy efficient and only 3 per cent of Australians oppose the other two measures.
  • THERE IS SUBSTANTIAL SUPPORT FOR AUSTRALIA TO TAKE A STRONG LEAD ON THE WORLD STAGE
  • Nearly seven out of ten Australians (68 per cent) also think that Australia should “do more to help developing countries reduce their emissions” (26 per cent strongly support and 42 per cent support). Once again only 7 per cent of Australians oppose this position and 25 per cent have no real opinion.
  • MOST AUSTRALIANS DO NOT WANT ACTION DELAYED BECAUSE OF ARGUMENTS ABOUT JOBS
  • There was little support for the government to “delay action on climate change if jobs are at risk”, with only 29 per cent of Australians supporting this position (5 per cent strongly support and 24 per cent support). 38 per cent of Australians oppose this position and 34 per cent have no real opinion or don’t know.
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