Climate of the Nation: climate change concern reaches five year high


The number of Australians concerned about climate change has reached a five-year high, increasing to 73% (up from 66% in 2017) according to a new benchmark report released today.

The annual Climate of the Nation report has tracked Australian attitudes on climate change for over a decade. This is the first Climate of the Nation report produced by The Australia Institute, after being produced for a decade by the Climate Institute.

The 2018 Climate of the Nation report, to be launched by former Liberal Party Leader John Hewson, shows that:

·         73% of Australians are concerned about climate change, up from 66% in 2017

·         70% of Australians agree that the Government needs to implement a plan to ensure the orderly closure of old coal plants and their replacement with clean energy, 

·         67% want to end coal-fired power within the next 20  years, up from 61% in 2017

·         15% of Nationals voters do not think climate change is occurring (down from 29% in 2017), and 45% of One Nation voters agree the seriousness of climate change is exaggerated, down from 56% in 2017

·         Majority of Australians (52%) blame the privatisation of electricity generation and supply for increasing electricity prices

 “This report shows that Australians support far more ambitious climate and energy policies than governments of either persuasion have delivered,” said John Hewson, professor at the ANU Crawford School.

“Australians are rightly concerned about the impacts of heat and rising temperatures and they support policies to transition our electricity sector away from coal and towards clean renewable energy.”

“The decade of policy uncertainty on climate change and energy seems set to continue, but the results from Climate of the Nation make it clear the public is way ahead of the government,” said Ben Oquist, Executive Director of The Australia Institute.

“The public want lower prices and action on climate change. The good news is the economics of renewables means they can have both. These results make clear any party that fails to address both price and emissions will be punished at the ballot box.”

“Australians continue to want to see Australia play a leading role in tackling climate change and they do not think the government is doing enough,” said Richie Merzian, Climate & Energy Program Director at The Australia Institute.

“We are unfairly shirking our global responsibilities, Australia’s 26-28% reduction target is unambitious, unfair and irresponsible.”

Related research