Climate of the Nation 2017 Report

Jun 27, 2017 - 12:05am

The Climate Institute has now been conducting its Climate of the Nation attitudinal research for more than a decade. It is the longest continuous survey of community attitudes in the country. And it is our last.

This year we surveyed 2,660 Australians across the country, including 600 each in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, and 400 each in South Australia and Western Australia. We also conducted eight focus groups in Adelaide, Brisbane, Parramatta and Townsville.

KEY POINTS

1. Climate Change:
The majority of Australians agree that climate change is occurring (71 per cent) and accept the scientific consensus that human activity is the main cause (57 per cent).

2. Action:
The majority of Australians want Australia to address climate change because they
see strong economic, environmental and social benefits and opportunities in the shift
to a clean economy (73 per cent).

3. Energy:
The vast majority of Australians want Australia’s future energy mix to be dominated by renewable energy (96 per cent), preferably supported by storage technologies (58 per cent). They see this as an economically smart outcome for our country. A majority of Australians want traditional coal generation out of the mix within the next 20 years (60 per cent)
- they want an orderly, managed transition to clean energy underway now (72 per cent).

4. International Leadership:

The majority of Australians want our country to be an international leader on climate change action (63 per cent), particularly renewable energy development, innovation and implementation
- an overwhelming majority would not want Australia to copy the USA’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement (87 per cent). Most want us to work harder with other countries to achieve the Agreement’s objectives of limiting global warming to 1.5-2°C (61 per cent).

5. Policy:
The majority of Australians want bipartisan, constructive climate change and energy policy implemented to make these goals a reality
- 64 per cent want Australia to set targets and implement domestic action to achieve net zero emissions.

6. Federal Government:
The majority of Australians do not consider the federal government to be doing a good job of informing the public about climate change, managing its impacts and driving the transition to clean energy - only 18 per cent judge performance as good or excellent.
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