Australians are increasingly and overwhelmingly supportive of climate action and renewable energy, and are deeply unhappy with the Abbott Government’s performance on both, according to the latest Climate of the Nation survey from the Climate Institute.
The study has found 70% of 1,145 Australians accept the science of climate change and 89% said the impacts are already visible in Australia.
The Australian public are also deeply unhappy with the Abbott Government’s actions on climate change with 61% of those asked saying they want the country to be a leader in climate solutions and more people (34%) back carbon pricing than oppose it (22%).
It notes a further 72% of Australians want to keep or expand the Renewable Energy Target (RET).
CEO of The Climate Institute, John Connor said:
More Australians think that climate change is occurring and are concerned about various physical impacts, present and future, with an overwhelming majority agree that tackling climate change can create opportunities for new jobs and investment.
For the first time more support carbon pricing than oppose it but there is still uncertainty about its benefits and its operation, while only around one in five Australians thinks that the Government’s alternative is credible.
The survey is yet another blow to the Government’s so-called “mandate” to repeal the carbon pricing laws, as well as its misguided attacks on renewable energy – which are enabling dirty industries to fight dirty to protect profits.
A new report from Greenpeace, also released today, shows Australia’s biggest three energy retailers – Origin, EnergyAustralia and AGL – are attacking the RET as it threatens the profitability of their fossil-fuel heavy businesses.
US Republican Hank Paulson says the same mistakes are being made with climate change now that were made in the lead up to the 2008 financial crisis, and domestic commentators agree that Australia’s backward steps do nothing but increase these risks.
If Australian dinosaurs do not evolve, they are likely to find themselves increasingly isolated.