Australians lead major political parties on clean energy Media Release

Aug 03, 2007 - 5:00am

A new clean energy future for Australia is gaining support among the population regardless of the positions taken by political parties, according to recent polling conducted by the Australian Research Group (ARG) on community attitudes to climate change solutions.

Support for solar, wind, investment in new clean technologies and a reduction in energy consumption each received a high level of support.

“Australians are saying they want to embrace new, clean renewable energy technologies to deal with the challenge of climate change. Our political leaders need to catch up with the Australian community on this issue and introduce effective policies which encourage significant clean energy investment.” said Climate Institute Chief Executive, John Connor.

“The substantial support for solar power comes despite Australia’s very small clean energy markets compared with other nations. For example, Japan has installed 13 times, and Germany 10 times more solar systems on homes than Australia has,” said Mr Connor.

“With strong support from the Australian Government a world leading solar industry in Australia could create over 31,000 clean energy jobs and nearly $2 billion in exports by 2020.”  

ARG General Manager, Paul Costantoura said, “As Australia develops its strategies for dealing with climate change, there is clearly a groundswell of support for a future based on new renewable energy industries rather than a continuing reliance on coal or a move to nuclear power”.

The renewable options of more solar panels (88% support) and more wind turbines (82% support) were favoured alongside the proposal of reducing our overall energy consumption (78% support).   

  Support No opinion/ Don’t know Oppose
More solar panels for electricity
91%
8%
1%
Invest in renewable energy industries
88%
11%
1%
More wind turbines for electricity
82%
13%
4%
Reduce our overall energy consumption
78%
17%
6%
Invest in clean coal technology
70%
25%
5%
Reduce our use of coal for electricity generation
70%
23%
6%
More ethanol for cars
65%
26%
10%
Introduce a carbon trading scheme
46%
48%
7%
Nuclear reactors for electricity
33%
19%
39%


“Importantly, there is also a high level of support (70%) for reducing our use of coal in electricity generation and investing in clean coal technology”, said ARG GM Mr Costantoura, “which suggests more people are realising the contribution that coal makes to greenhouse pollution.”

“We need a strong, loophole free carbon trading scheme and policies which encourage investment in clean energy and cuts to our greenhouse pollution.” Said Mr Connor.
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