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Australian Climate Change Attitudes Shifting
Findings from the Climate of the Nation 2016 report, co-funded for the first time by Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation, show that many Australians believe the impact of climate change cannot be ignored and that Australia should be a world leader in finding solutions to this issue.
Produced by The Climate Institute, the report is Australia’s longest-running survey that benchmarks attitudes on climate change. This year’s results illustrate that support for climate change action and renewable energy is at its strongest level since 2008.
“Seventy-seven per cent of Australians now believe climate change is occurring, up from 64 per cent in 2012, with trust in the science up from a minority in 2012 to 60 per cent now. While not all accept climate change is occurring now, concern about current and potential impacts is high, with 82 per cent concerned about droughts, flooding and the Great Barrier Reef,” said The Climate Institute Chief Executive Officer, John Connor.
The Foundation has funded Climate of the Nation 2016 with a $75,000 Thrive Grant as part of its Sustainable Melbourne Impact Area which supports the transition to a low-carbon economy, building a sustainable food system and protecting healthy waterways.
“Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation has proudly funded this survey to grow understanding about climate change and a transition to a sustainable, fair low-carbon future,” said Catherine Brown, Chief Executive Officer of Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation.
The report, underpinned by quantitative polling of over 2000 Australians and qualitative focus groups, captures attitudes toward the responsibility and leadership of the issue, while also highlighting some of the concerns and the personal actions being taken.
Key findings from the report include:
- 60% of Australians trust the science that suggests the climate is changing due to human activities, compared to 46% in 2013.
- 73% of Australians hold the clear view that economic benefits, such as new jobs and investment in clean energy, will flow from leadership on climate action and energy policy.
- 65% of people feel Australia should be a world leader in finding solutions to climate change, up from 59% last year.
- 67% of people believe that Australia should enact a serious policy plan to deliver the commitment made in Paris to achieving net zero emissions (66% also believing it should include targets).