Oct 23, 2008 - 12:00am
The ALP is losing its grip on an election-winning asset, leadership
on climate change, according to a recent poll commissioned for the
independent Climate Institute which also shows that public concern for
climate change is weathering the financial crisis.
Support for the
Labor party’s management of climate change has slumped from a high of
43 per cent, on the eve of ratifying the Kyoto Protocol, to 28 per cent,
shows the Auspoll survey conducted the weekend before last*.
slump in the Government’s credentials may be driven by a belief that
big polluters are not being made to do their ‘fair share’ on climate
change and there’s community impatience to see strong government action
following the ratification of Kyoto,” Climate Institute CEO John Connor
“The Government has embarked on a wide consultation process,
and rightly so, but if it is to claw back public support it needs to
back strong, credible carbon pollution reduction targets and a clear
vision on clean energy and energy efficiency in its December White
Twenty-eight per cent 28% of Australians think Labor is
the “party better able to handle climate change” and is its lowest
polling on this question since February 2007, down from 34 per cent in
July this year. The Coalition has risen from 9 per cent in July to 14
per cent. Fifty-eight per cent were not sure or considered both parties
Concern about climate change remains extremely high with
82 per cent concerned (16 per cent extremely concerned; 27 per cent
very concerned and 39 per cent concerned). This is a marginal drop from
89 per cent in March 2008.
Even in the midst of the market
meltdown, only 22 per cent agreed with the statement “given the turmoil
in financial markets government should delay action on climate change”
(8 per cent strongly agree, 14 per cent agree). Sixty-eight per cent
supported the statement that given the financial turmoil “it is even
more important to take action on climate and create green jobs and
“Australians are understandably concerned about the
economy but are still hungry for action on climate change and leadership
on this issue is now up for grabs,” Mr Connor said.
standing will be affected by their position on pollution reduction
targets with almost two thirds (65 per cent) of people agreeing that a
strong 2020 carbon pollution reduction target is a ‘key test’ of climate
change commitment. Sixty-three per cent agree that a 25 per cent
reduction target is affordable and achievable.”
droughts (92%), less water for our cities (91%), damage to agriculture
(89%) and the loss of the Great Barrier Reef (86%) top the list of
climate change effects of most concern to people.
is an issue that isn’t going away and the major political parties face
key choices. The small Coalition rebound is at risk if they continue to
push for delays in emissions trading or remain unclear on pollution
reduction targets. If the ALP adopts ‘soft policies’ in the December
White Paper it risks squandering a key political differential over the
Coalition and hand a stronger asset to the Greens and other parties or
independents,” Mr Connor said.
“The message for our political
leaders is clear - back strong internationally and scientifically
credible Australian carbon pollution reduction targets, of at least 25
per cent reduction from 1990 levels, and accelerate the growth of clean
energy and energy efficiency.”
NOTE: *The AUSPOLL online national survey of 1000 people was from 10th - 13th October 2008.