Essential Report

Attitudes towards bushfires and climate change

Jan 19, 2021

Q. Thinking about the bushfires in some parts of the country, which of the following statements is closest to your view?

Jan’21 Jan’20 Nov’19 Oct’13
It is likely that the bushfires are linked to climate change and it is appropriate to publicly raise this issue 49% 44% 43% 27%
It is likely that the bushfires are linked to climate change, but it is inappropriate to publicly raise this issue at this this time 18% 19% 17% 14%
It is unlikely the bushfires are linked to climate change 20% 26% 30% 48%
Don’t know 12% 11% 11% 11%
Base (n) 1,084 1,081 1,083 1,075
  •  Just under half (49%) of people think it is likely that the bushfires are linked to climate change and it is appropriate to publicly raise this issue, the highest proportion in the last three years (up from 44% this time last year). Correspondingly, fewer think it is unlikely the bushfires are linked to climate change (20%, down from 26%).
  • About the same amount of people as previous years think it is likely that the bushfires are linked to climate change, but it is inappropriate to publicly raise this issue at this this time (18%).
  Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
  Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
It is likely that the bushfires are linked to climate change and it is appropriate to publicly raise this issue 49% 49% 50% 49% 51% 48% 58% 42% 65% 42%
It is likely that the bushfires are linked to climate change, but it is inappropriate to publicly raise this issue at this this time 18% 20% 16% 26% 17% 12% 15% 20% 24% 17%
It is unlikely the bushfires are linked to climate change 20% 21% 20% 10% 18% 32% 15% 28% 4% 32%
Don’t know 12% 10% 14% 14% 14% 8% 11% 9% 7% 9%
Base (n) 1,084 539 545 341 358 385 334 431 118 106
  •  About a third (32%) of those over 55 think it is unlikely the bushfires are linked to climate change, the highest among the three age brackets.
  • More people aged 18-34 think it is likely that the bushfires are linked to climate change, but it is inappropriate to publicly raise this issue at this this time, than those aged 35-54 and those over 55 (26% to 17% and 12% respectively).
  • The view that it is likely that the bushfires are linked to climate change and it is appropriate to publicly raise this issue is high; this is highest among Greens voters (65%), followed by Labor voters (58%), Coalition voters (42%) and other voters (42%).
  • Minor and independent party voters and Coalition voters are the most likely to think it is unlikely the bushfires are linked to climate change (32% and 28% respectively).

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