Polling: Majority of Australians want climate disaster levy and climate adaptation strategies

The vast majority of Australians (72%) want new Federal government policies to help understand and prepare for climate change impacts, including a national climate risk assessment, a National Adaptation Plan and a National Climate Disaster Fund, finds new polling from the Australia Institute.

The Australia Institute surveyed 1,001 Australians in March 2022 about the role of climate change in natural disasters and the Federal government’s level of preparedness for climate change impacts. Polling showed broad support for new climate adaptation policies across voting intention, age and state.

Key Points:

  • Nearly three in four Australians (74%) agree that the federal government should develop a National Adaptation Plan, compared to 12% who disagree.
    • The majority of Australians across all voting intentions agree the Government should develop such a Plan: Coalition 71% agree, 13% disagree; Labor 81% agree, 8% disagree; Greens 83% agree, 6% disagree; PHON 54% agree, 30% disagree; independent/other 63% agree, 15% disagree.
  • 72% of Australians agree that the Commonwealth government should undertake a national risk assessment, 21% disagree.
    • The majority of Australians across all voting intentions agree the Government should undertake a national risk assessment: Coalition 67% agree, 24% disagree; Labor 79% agree, 14% disagree; Greens 83% agree, 15% disagree; PHON 52% agree, 39% disagree; independent/other 61% agree, 24% disagree.
  • The vast majority of Australians (70%) agree that climate change is contributing to more frequent and more extreme weather events like floods and bushfires, compared with less than a quarter (23%) who disagree.
  • The majority of Australians (67%) support the creation of a National Climate Disaster Fund to support communities affected by flood and bushfires, paid for by a levy on fossil fuel exports.
  • The majority of Australians (55%) do not believe the Commonwealth Government has done enough to prepare for the impacts of climate change, compared to 37% who agree.

“Australians across all voting intentions understand that not only is climate change happening, it’s happening right now,” said Richie Merzian, Climate & Energy Director at The Australia Institute.

“Our research shows landslide support across all voting intentions for a National Risk Assessment and a National Adaptation Plan. The question for the Government is why they have never assessed Australia’s vulnerability to climate change.

“This Government is more focused on peddling false climate solutions like dirty hydrogen and dodgy carbon offsets than they are on helping Australians prepare for climate impacts like floods and bushfires. There is clear support for a National Climate Disaster Fund, so that those profiting from fossil fuels help contribute to the climate impacts, rather than disaster-stricken communities who are currently bearing the brunt.

“So-called once in 100-year disasters like the devastating recent floods and the catastrophic Black Summer bushfires are becoming all too frequent. How many once in a generation climate disasters do we have to bear before we accept the climate has changed. While it keeps its head in the sand, the Federal Government remains woefully unprepared to deal with the reality of climate change.

“Voters are clearly asking themselves how many climate-fuelled disasters are they prepared to endure before they demand a Federal Government that implements legitimate climate policies for disaster preparedness and emissions reduction.”

Related documents

full polling brief