Climate Change concern streaks ahead


People are more concerned about the impacts of climate change than ever before, according to a new poll released by Ipsos.

The poll, carried out across 28 countries, found that while people worldwide have a myriad of concerns, environmental issues and climate change has climbed significantly since last year.

Over a third of respondents around the world think that climate change (37%), air pollution, (35%), and dealing with the amount of waste we generate (34%) are among the top three environmental issues facing their country.

Australians are more concerned than the global average, with 44% of respondents saying that climate change is a main concern, while waste generation (38%) and future energy sources and supplies (35%) coming up next.

Although a growing concern for Australians, the nation ranks ninth worldwide, just ahead of Britain (42%) and the US (47%).

“The findings show that more people around the world and in Australia are concerned about climate change and plastics in the environment than ever before. Australians are actually more concerned about all of these issues than the global average,” Ipsos Australia Director, David Elliott, said

Key Australian findings

  • Australians’ top three environmental issues are global warming/climate change (44%), dealing with the amount of waste we generate (38%), future energy sources and supplies (35%)One quarter also nominated overpopulation (26%). Compared to the 2018 results, global warming/climate change has increased (up 9%), dealing with the amount of waste we generate is up 3%, while future energy sources and supplies is down 5%.

  • Eight in ten Australians (78%) are concerned about the effects of plastic on the environment, however, that makes us one of the least concerned nations surveyed, with only 8 nations less concerned.

  • The most popular policy actions among Australians are forcing government spending to improve the range of recyclable items (44%), taxing shops that use non-recyclable products (30%), and taxing these products to increase their price (31%). For all but one of the surveyed policies, Australians were equal to or below the global average. The big movers compared to 2018 included forcing government spending to improve the range of recyclable items (up 4%), the government ‘naming and shaming’ shops that use a lot of these products (up 3%), and fining households that do not recycle enough (up 4%).

  • The most popular personal actions for Australians were re-using disposable items (62%), buying products from recycled materials (49%), and stop buying goods that have non-recyclable packaging (38%).

  • Australians were one of the most likely to believe that everyone (companies, government, consumers) is responsible for finding a way to reduce unnecessary packaging with 46% agreeing with this statement (versus a global average of 39%).

The full report can be found here

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