Most Australians see climate change as critical threat
June 17, 2017
A poll by the Lowy Institute has found that a clear majority of Australians (54%) consider climate change to be a 'serious problem and a critical threat to Australia’s vital interests', and that the government should focus its attention on renewable energy rather than coal and gas.
The result places climate change in the top three of 11 serious threats, behind only international terrorism and the nuclear threat from North Korea.
More Australians regard the threat of climate change as serio
us to the nation than a severe downturn in the global economy, foreign investment in Australia, asylum seekers coming to Australia by boat, and the foreign policies of China and Russia.
The poll, conducted in March this year, found that of 1200 people surveyed, 81% agreed with the statement that ‘The government should focus on renewables, even if this means we may need to invest more in infrastructure to make the system more reliable.’ Fewer than one in five (17%) say ‘the government should focus on traditional energy sources such as coal and gas, even if this means the environment may suffer to some extent’.
According to the Institute, over the past five years there has been “a very clear turnaround in Australian public opinion on climate change”.
“A majority of Australian adults see global warming as a serious problem that needs to be addressed, regardless of cost: 54% of Australian adults (up 18 points since 2012) say ‘global warming is a serious and pressing problem [and] we should begin taking steps now even if this involves significant costs’.”