Most ACT Voters Back Ban on New Gas & Coal, Only 8.6% Support Unlimited Offsets

New polling research reveals voters in the Australian Capital Territory overwhelmingly support (63%) a ban on new gas & coal projects in Commonwealth climate law.

The overwhelming majority (82%) oppose the unlimited use of carbon offsets to account for polluting projects. A majority (61%) believe it’s more important the Senate works to improve climate legislation, even if it takes longer, as opposed to passing legislation “as is” so that it comes into operation sooner.

Canberrans overwhelmingly (85%) believe the Senate should improve legislation if it can, while only a small minority (7%) believe the Senate should approve proposed laws “as is.”

Key Findings:

  • 82% of Canberrans believe polluting projects should not be able to offset 100% of their emissions via carbon offsets, only 9% believe in 100% carbon offsets for projects
    • Of those, 56% believe polluting projects should have to directly reduce their emissions, not use carbon offsets
    • And 26% believe projects should be able to offset some but not all emissions
  • 85% believe the Senate should improve legislation; 7% believe Senate should pass legislation “as is”
  • 61% believe it would be better for the Senate to improve climate legislation even if takes longer, while 30% believe climate law should be passed as is so it comes into operation sooner
  • 63% agree that the Commonwealth Government should stop new gas & coal projects, 28% believe new projects should be allowed to go ahead, 8% are unsure
    • Of those, 40% believe the Government should stop new gas & coal projects and start to phase down production from existing projects
    • And 23% believe the Government should stop new projects, but allow existing projects to continue operating as is, 8.4% Unsure / don’t know

“The research shows the majority of Canberra voters want the Senate to make sure this legislation is right, not rushed,” said Dr. Richard Denniss, Executive Director of independent think-tank the Australia Institute.

“Canberrans are overwhelmingly opposed (82%) to the unlimited use of carbon offsets for polluting projects, and strongly favour genuine direct emission reductions instead.

“Canberrans are overwhelmingly in favour of a ban on new fossil fuel projects.

“There is a high level of democratic literacy within the ACT about the role of the Senate as a house of review to scrutinise and improve legislation, as opposed to rubber stamp laws quickly. Politically speaking, ACT voters are some of the best informed in the country.

“The science shows that if we are to tackle climate change, we need to stop new gas & coal. Our research shows that the public understand this, and it’s time for our parliament to follow suit.”

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