May 24, 2009 - 11:53am
Support for action on climate change amongst Australians remained strong and 77 per cent want the Liberal Party to back the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme according to polling conducted last weekend for the independent Climate Institute.
“Overall levels of concern about climate change have barely moved since February and more than three quarters of voters think the Liberal Party should back the Government’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme,” said John Connor, Climate Institute CEO.
“Leadership on who is the better major party on climate change remains up for grabs with most Australians (59 %) unable to choose between the Coalition and the ALP.
“The Liberal Party risks losing whatever chance it has on making up the gap between it and the ALP should it fail to back credible carbon pollution reduction targets or seek to further weaken the Government’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.
The poll conducted over last weekend* found 27 per cent thought the ALP was the better party for managing climate change, down from 32% in February. 14 per cent thought the Coalition the better party, up from 12 per cent. 59 per cent couldn’t pick between the major parties with 37 per cent rating them both the same and 22 per cent saying “don’t know”.
“The message for the Government is that it risks further drops should there be any additional weakening of its climate policies.”
“There was a clear message for the Liberal Party that more than three quarters of Australians (77 %) thought they should back the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.
“Liberal opposition to, or further attempts to weaken, the CPRS could result in long term ‘brand damage’ to the Liberals and head them in the opposite direction to overseas conservative parties like those led by the UK’s David Cameron and Germany’s Angela Merkel.
“Deciding to go with those in the Nationals in extreme denial could bolt the Liberal brand to climate inaction for a very long time. Backing the CPRS and adopting credible 25 % reduction targets for 2020 could give it a chance of revival as the debate intensifies through to Copenhagen and beyond.
While intensity of people’s concern about climate change has softened in the light of other, probably economic, concerns, total concern (combining “extremely” with “very” with straight “concerned”) has barely moved since February when the national average was 78%, to 77% over the weekend.
“It is time our politicians stopped arguing about climate action and joined the overwhelming majority of Australians who want action on reducing carbon pollution and creating jobs and prosperity through clean energy and other low carbon industries,” concluded Mr Connor.
*Auspoll conducted the national survey over May 15 to 19 The overall sample size was 1120, segmented and weighted to be nationally representative of Australia’s population by gender, age and location