Coalition risks heading into the cold on climate policy Media Release

Jul 28, 2008 - 8:00pm

More than two thirds (69 per cent) of Australians support the introduction of an emissions trading scheme by or before the Government’s starting point of 2010 with around 1 in 10 (13 per cent) opposing it, according to a Galaxy poll released today.

The weekend phone poll, commissioned by the independent Climate Institute, showed that only 9 per cent thought the Coalition was the better party for managing climate change compared to the ALP’s 34 per cent.  Forty three per cent of voters thought both parties were were the same.

“This is a clear message that voters are fed up with delays to climate policy and that the Coalition risks heading into a deep freeze if it takes a position backing further delay,” said Climate Institute CEO John Connor.

Other findings from the poll:

  • The large majority (80%) support the Federal Government scheme to address climate change and only 13% oppose it.
  • A majority of Coalition voters, 52 per cent, support the introduction of an emissions trading scheme in 2010 or sooner.
  • Less than one fifth (18 per cent) of Coalition voters support delaying the introduction of an emissions trading scheme until 2012, with 23 per cent opposing it outright.
  • Among ALP voters 55% say that ALP is better at handling climate change and only 2% say that the Coalition is better.
  • Among Coalition voters twice the number say that both parties are the same at handling climate change than say that the Coalition is better (56% versus 24%), but only 10% accept that ALP is better.

“These polls indicate the dimension of the political risk that the Coalition would take if it adopted a weaker position on climate policy, Mr Connor said.

The Coalition would be better advised focusing on the majority of Australians (57 per cent) who can’t decide between the major parties on climate change and develop policies for a decisive shift away from Australia’s high carbon, high polluting and highly inefficient economy.”

The Galaxy poll was conducted on the weekend of 25-27 July with a sample of 1042 aged over 18. The questions were:

 1.  Which of the following major political parties do you think is better at handling climate change

  • ALP
  • Coalition
  • Or are they both the same
  • Don’t know

2. The Federal Government has proposed a scheme to address climate change which would make 1,000 of Australia’s largest carbon polluters pay for the carbon they produce. This scheme is proposed to start in 2010. What would you like to see the Federal opposition do in response:

  • Support the scheme starting in 2010 .
  • Support it starting before 2010
  • Support it starting but not until 2012 or later
  • Or, Oppose the scheme
  • Don’t know
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