Poll: Electorate reject ARENA cuts, backs new mechanism to retire coal

A new national poll shows Australians overwhelmingly support for strong climate policies which would phase out fossil fuels with a mechanism similar to that recommend by the Climate change Authority. Voters also want the Senate to reject proposed funding cuts to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

The ReachTEL poll commissioned by The Australia Institute surveyed 10,271 residents nationally on the evening of 30 August. 56 percent of respondents said the Senate should not pass legislation cutting $1 billion of funding from ARENA. Only 21 percent supported the cut.

In addition, respondents were asked about an emissions intensity scheme for addressing climate change, to gradually force reductions from high emissions power plants such as coal generators. 57% of respondents supported the proposal.

“There’s clearly a hunger for action on climate policy,” Ben Oquist, Executive Director of the Australia Institute said.

“The public are not ideologically attached to any particular mechanism, but they want action to can immediately retiring coal capacity.

“People strongly support more action on climate change not more politicking. It is time to move on from the ideology of specific mechanisms and towards action that can actually start to retire coal fired electricity capacity. What is being proposed by the Climate Change Authority seems to have the potential to help bridge the partisan divide of recent years.

“One thing that is clear is that no matter what policies are in place to phase out coal fired power Australia needs to invest heavily in renewable energy. Yet despite this obvious need, the Turnbull Government is proposing to scrap ARENA.

“Cutting ARENA now would be a highly unpopular move, and impair the government’s ability to move on from the politics of the past and produce the clean energy economy of the future,” Oquist said.

Question: The Australian Renewable Energy Agency funds new renewable energy construction and research in Australia.

Should the Senate pass legislation cutting $1 billion in funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency?

 

Total

Female

Male

18 – 34

35 – 50

51 – 65

65+

Yes

21.2%

17.4%

25.1%

18.5%

22.3%

22.6%

22.0%

No

55.9%

53.4%

58.5%

57.4%

56.4%

58.2%

49.2%

Don’t know

22.9%

29.1%

16.4%

24.1%

21.3%

19.2%

28.8%

 

 

Total

L/NP

Labor

Greens

Oth/Ind

Und

Yes

21.2%

35.1%

11.0%

2.4%

24.0%

11.5%

No

55.9%

39.2%

68.1%

91.1%

52.8%

44.3%

Don’t know

22.9%

25.7%

20.9%

6.5%

23.2%

44.2%

 

 

Total

NSW

VIC

QLD

WA

SA

TAS

NT

ACT

Yes

21.2%

23.0%

18.4%

23.2%

17.4%

22.9%

21.1%

22.9%

20.0%

No

55.9%

52.6%

59.2%

53.6%

62.8%

53.0%

55.7%

58.3%

64.1%

Don’t know

22.9%

24.4%

22.3%

23.3%

19.8%

24.1%

23.2%

18.8%

15.9%

 

 

Total

Income <$600

Income $600-$1000

Income $1000-$2000

Income >$2000

Income   No answer

Yes

21.2%

19.4%

21.4%

21.1%

24.0%

20.5%

No

55.9%

51.1%

56.7%

61.6%

66.7%

48.7%

Don’t know

22.9%

29.5%

22.0%

17.3%

9.3%

30.8%

 

Question: Thinking about what action the government should take to address climate change, would you support or oppose an emissions intensity scheme that gradually forces emissions reductions from high emissions power plants such as coal generators?

 

Total

Female

Male

18 – 34

35 – 50

51 – 65

65+

Support

57.2%

57.3%

57.0%

56.1%

58.2%

60.0%

53.3%

Oppose

17.9%

13.3%

22.8%

14.6%

17.8%

19.1%

22.4%

Undecided

24.9%

29.4%

20.2%

29.3%

24.1%

20.9%

24.2%

 

 

Total

L/NP

Labor

Greens

Oth/Ind

Und

Support

57.2%

46.5%

65.8%

85.0%

49.9%

56.2%

Oppose

17.9%

26.7%

8.5%

4.2%

28.9%

10.3%

Undecided

24.9%

26.8%

25.6%

10.9%

21.2%

33.5%

 

 

Total

NSW

VIC

QLD

WA

SA

TAS

NT

ACT

Support

57.2%

54.0%

59.6%

53.8%

65.5%

56.2%

61.6%

59.8%

66.7%

Oppose

17.9%

18.7%

16.6%

20.8%

13.0%

18.4%

18.1%

20.6%

15.2%

Undecided

24.9%

27.3%

23.9%

25.4%

21.5%

25.4%

20.3%

19.6%

18.1%

 

 

Total

Income <$600

Income $600-$1000

Income $1000-$2000

Income >$2000

Income   No answer

Support

57.2%

53.3%

57.9%

63.4%

67.4%

49.0%

Oppose

17.9%

17.9%

19.6%

16.2%

18.6%

16.5%

Undecided

24.9%

28.7%

22.5%

20.4%

14.0%

34.5%

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Media Enquiries

Anna Chang Communications Director

0422 775 161

anna@australiainstitute.org.au