Polling – Carbon neutrality, net zero and carbon offsets

Key results

The Australia Institute surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,012 Australians in January 2023, about their attitudes about carbon neutrality, net zero and carbon offsets.

• An overwhelming majority of Australians (85%) have heard the term carbon neutral, but just one in three (33%) know what it means.
• Fewer Australians have heard of net zero (60%) and just over one in ten (14%) know what net zero means.
• Nearly two in three Australians (62%) thank that offsets result in cancelled out or less emissions.
• Three in five Australians (58%) think all emissions from business operations, products and services should be accounted for when claiming to be a “carbon neutral organisation”.
• One in three (33%) agree that carbon neutral electricity has the same impact as 100% renewable energy (34% disagree, 32% don’t know).
• Half of Australians (48%) agree that carbon offsets are greenwash.
o Three in five Australians (62%) agree that carbon offsets help polluters look like they are reducing emissions even when they aren’t.
• Two in five (39%) Australians say that there would be less need for EVs if all petrol was carbon neutral (31% disagree, 30% don’t know).
• Three in five Aussies (61%) say that stopping new gas and coal projects is an effective way to reduce emissions (20% say its ineffective, 19% don’t know).

Full report