Apr 14, 2008 - 4:22am
The Climate Institute today launched its second annual Climate
of the Nation report – a comprehensive review of public attitudes on
climate change and support for climate action.
report primarily details research into the attitudes of Australians
since the 2007 federal election. It demonstrates that concern has
crystallised into solid support for action - but that there is growing
scepticism towards the major political parties and their ability to
“In the aftermath of the world’s first ‘climate change’
election, public concern and hunger for action remains high,” Climate
Institute CEO Mr Connor said.
“The majority of Australians (52
per cent) are unable to discern between the two major parties on climate
change, meaning political ‘brand ownership’ of climate leadership
remains up for grabs.
“With the Coalition retreating to just 7 per
cent (from 15 per cent) over the last year, the Coalition has much to
do if it is to accommodate public support for this proven vote switching
issue,” Mr Connor said.
Other key findings of the report include:
for climate change remains at high levels. Nine of 10 Australians (89
per cent) are now concerned about climate change, with half (49 per
cent) being either extremely concerned (17 per cent) or very concerned
(32 per cent).
- For most people, ratifying Kyoto is just one part
of Australia’s continuing response to climate change. Almost eight of
every 10 Australians (78 per cent) believe that, despite Australia
having ratified Kyoto, we still need to take further urgent action to
deal with climate change. While 17 per cent have no opinion, only 5 per
cent disagree that urgent action is still required.
are most concerned about the impact of climate change on drought (64
per cent very concerned and 30 per cent concerned), and the consequence
of less water for cities (60 per cent very concerned and 33 per cent
concerned). Other particular concerns include loss of the Great Barrier
Reef , impacts on agriculture and increased bushfires and storms
Mr Connor said that strong domestic targets are favoured by a clear majority of Australians.
than three quarters of Australians (78 per cent) believe that we should
reverse growing levels of greenhouse pollution to achieve real
reductions by 2012,” Mr Connor said.
“Further, 74 per cent believe that new electricity generation should come from clean energy,” Mr Connor said.
CLIMATE OF THE NATION: KEY FACTS
Better party for managing climate change
40 per cent of Australians believe that the ALP is better at handling
climate change, the majority (52 per cent) are not prepared to rate
either party as best.
- Only 7 per cent of people are prepared to nominate the Coalition as the better party on climate change
- Performance of the Federal Government on key areas
new Government was rated by more than half of Australians (55 per cent
)as having had a good or very good performance on climate change.
- Priorities for the Federal Government
is solid interest in the government maintaining climate change as a
high priority during its first three years in office. Eight of 10
people (80 per cent) want to see the government give climate change a
very high priority (33 per cent) or a high priority (47 per cent) in
their first three years in office.
- Only 16 per cent believe that it should receive a low priority for government action.
- Level of concern about climate change
for climate change remains high. Nine out of 10 Australians (89 per
cent) are concerned about climate change, with half (49 per cent) being
either extremely concerned (17 per cent) or very concerned (32 per
- Only three per cent of Australians are “not at all”
concerned about the issue, and a further nine per cent are “not very
- Need to make changes to reduce climate change
- There is considerable community support for both personal and government action to deal with climate change.
action is supported by 97 per cent of Australians, with 84 per cent
believing that Governments should make either very large changes (38 per
cent) or large changes (46 per cent).
- Further, 94 per cent of
Australians now recognize that they need to make changes in their own
lives to prevent further climate changes.
Effect on the economy of addressing climate change
- Only 15 per cent of Australians believe that addressing climate change “will definitely hurt the economy and jobs”.
almost half of Australians (46 per cent) are unsure about the effect
that addressing climate change will have on the economy and jobs.
Significance at 2007 Federal Election
Change was the second highest most distinguishing policy area for ALP
voters in the November poll (70 per cent behind industrial relations 81
Climate of the Nation Report