Apr 27, 2010 - 12:00am
Trust in Prime Minister Rudd on climate change has dipped but he has much to gain from refocusing on climate action with 35% more likely to vote Labor on stronger action, according to an independent survey commissioned by The Climate Institute, GetUp and other partners*.
“Both major parties and leaders can improve their position with stronger action on cutting climate pollution and growing clean energy jobs,” said John Connor, CEO The Climate Institute.
The Auspoll survey taken at the end of March** shows more than two thirds (68%) of Australians are concerned about climate change.
Trust in Kevin Rudd to manage climate change has slid from 46% in February 2009 to 36%.
“The Prime Minister has paid the price of community disappointment and frustration on stalled progress, but this poll shows there is more to be gained by all political parties with returned attention to action,” said Simon Sheikh, National Director of GetUp.
Most Australians, 55%, see little difference between the major parties in managing climate change. 27% rate Labor as the better party to manage climate change – the same as one year ago. The Coalition has gained 4% from a year ago to 18% on the same measure.
However, 35% of voters would be more likely to vote for the Rudd Government if they were to take stronger action on climate change; only 16% would be less likely.
“Climate change remains a potent force rewarding stronger action,” said Mr Connor.
Concern about climate change is strong at 68%, but is understandably below higher levels in previous polls. Regardless, almost eight out of ten Australians, 77%, support climate action to give the planet the benefit of the doubt.
”While currently the majority of Australians see little difference between the major parties in managing climate change, strong action taken before the election remains a vote winning idea for the Government,” said GetUp National Director, Simon Sheikh.
“Clearly the great majority of people don’t support a head-in-sand approach to climate change and even some of those genuinely sceptical or confused by the issue realise the importance of prudent risk management,” said Mr Connor.
* The research was commissioned by The Climate Institute, GetUp, Australian Conservation Foundation; World Vision, Greenpeace; Brotherhood of St Laurence and Climate Works. The views expressed above are those of the organisations quoted and are not necessarily those of other member of the research project. The research program continues and a fuller 2010 Climate of the Nation Report will be published mid year.
**The Auspoll survey of 1000 Australians was taken between March 25th and March 29th 2010.