Attitudes towards coal

Feb 25, 2020

Q. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements about coal?

  NET: Agree NET: Disagree Strongly agree Somewhat agree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagree Unsure
Improvements in renewable energy will mean that burning coal to generate electricity will become less necessary 75% 14% 43% 32% 8% 6% 11%
Advances in technology and international action on climate change will mean coal becomes uneconomical to extract in the future 65% 18% 28% 36% 12% 6% 17%
If we’re serious about dealing with climate change, Australia needs to get out of coal as soon as possible 64% 24% 34% 29% 13% 11% 13%
Even if Australia stops exporting coal for electricity generation, it should still export coal for steel production 61% 19% 26% 36% 12% 7% 20%
Rather than digging it all up now, Australia should leave its coal resources in the ground to use when it becomes more valuable in the future 53% 29% 21% 33% 20% 8% 18%

 

NET: Agree   Age Federal Voting Intention (Lower House)
Total 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor Coalition Greens NET: Other
Improvements in renewable energy will mean that burning coal to generate electricity will become less necessary 75% 80% 76% 70% 82% 70% 83% 68%
Advances in technology and international action on climate change will mean coal becomes uneconomical to extract in the future 65% 74% 61% 61% 73% 60% 70% 53%
If we’re serious about dealing with climate change, Australia needs to get out of coal as soon as possible 64% 75% 65% 52% 72% 54% 87% 49%
Even if Australia stops exporting coal for electricity generation, it should still export coal for steel production 61% 61% 64% 59% 60% 72% 38% 59%
Rather than digging it all up now, Australia should leave its coal resources in the ground to use when it becomes more valuable in the future 53% 64% 53% 44% 57% 50% 56% 45%
Base (n) 1,090 341 374 375 336 390 104 146
  • Three-quarters of participants (75%) agree that improvements in renewable energy will mean that burning coal to generate electricity will become less necessary, 65% agree that advances in technology and international action on climate change will mean coal becomes uneconomical to extract in the future and 64% agree if we’re serious about dealing with climate change, Australia needs to get out of coal as soon as possible.
  • Participants aged 18-34, those with a university education and Greens or Labor voters are more likely to agree with these statements than those over 55, those with a secondary school education and Coalition or other voters (other minor party or independent candidate).
  • Coalition voters are most likely to agree that even if Australia stops exporting coal for electricity generation, it should still export coal for steel production (72%), compared to 38% of Greens voters.
  • Capital city residents are more likely to agree if we’re serious about dealing with climate change, Australia needs to get out of coal as soon as possible (67%) and rather than digging it all up now, Australia should leave its coal resources in the ground to use when it becomes more valuable in the future (56%); than non-capital city residents (56% and 47% respectively).

COVID-19 RESEARCH

Read Essential's ongoing research on the public response to Covid-19.

Download this weeks Report

Sign up for updates

Receive the Essential Report in your inbox.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.