Essential Report

Best net zero target for jobs

Oct 26, 2021

Q. Which of the following approaches to acting on climate change and reducing emissions do you think will have the most positive long-term effect on jobs?

  Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
  Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
Set a more ambitious target for 2030 35% 36% 34% 34% 35% 36% 43% 27% 55% 32%
Set a net zero target for 2050 29% 32% 26% 37% 29% 23% 31% 32% 27% 26%
Not set any targets for 2030 or 2050 14% 16% 12% 10% 10% 20% 6% 21% 2% 24%
Unsure 22% 16% 28% 19% 26% 21% 20% 19% 15% 18%
Column n 1,781 875 906 533 601 647 636 610 157 220
  • About a third (35%) think setting a more ambitious emissions reduction target for 2030 will have the most positive long-term effect on jobs, while a further 29% think setting a net zero target for 2050 would be best for jobs.
  • 14% think not setting any targets for 2030 or 2050 is best for jobs, and 22% are unsure.
  • Labor voters (43%) and Greens voters (55%) are most likely to think a more ambitious 2030 target will have the most positive long-term effect on jobs.
  • Minor/independent party voters (24%) and Coalition voters (21%) are most likely to think not setting any targets would be best for jobs.
  • Those aged 18-34 are more likely than older cohorts to think setting a net zero target for 2050 is best (37% to 29% of those aged 35-54 and 23% of those over 55).

Importance of action on climate change

Oct 12, 2021

Q. Which of the following best describes your attitude towards the issue of climate change and global warming?

Q Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
It is the most important issue and there is no other issue I am more concerned about 22% 23% 20% 29% 23% 15% 25% 18% 36% 21%
It is a very important issue, but there are other issues that equally concern me 45% 41% 48% 48% 45% 42% 53% 41% 52% 34%
It is somewhat an important issue, but there are other issues that I am more concerned about 20% 20% 20% 18% 19% 23% 14% 26% 10% 23%
It is not a very important issue, there are other issues that I am much more concerned about 7% 8% 6% 2% 6% 12% 5% 9% 2% 11%
It is not an important issue at all 6% 7% 6% 4% 7% 8% 2% 6% 0% 12%
Base (n) 1,097 540 557 342 366 389 362 414 94 138
  • 22% say climate change is the most important issue to them, with a further 45% saying it is important, along with other issues.
  • 7% said they were more concerned with issues other than climate change and just 6% said climate change isn’t an important issue.

Climate change acceptance

Oct 12, 2021

Q. Do you believe that there is fairly conclusive evidence that climate change is happening and caused by human activity or do you believe that the evidence is still not in and we may just be witnessing a normal fluctuation in the earth’s climate which happens from time to time?

Q Oct’21 Jun’21 Jan’21 Jan’20 Nov’19 Mar’19 Oct’18 Sep’17 Aug’16
Climate change is happening and is caused by human activity 59% 56% 58% 56% 61% 62% 63% 64% 57%
We are just witnessing a normal fluctuation in the earth’s climate 30% 27% 32% 32% 28% 27% 25% 24% 26%
Don’t know 11% 16% 10% 13% 11% 12% 13% 12% 17%
Base (n) 1,097 1,087 1,084 1,081 1,083 1,089 1,027 1,011 1,022

 

  Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
  Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
Climate change is happening and is caused by human activity 59% 60% 58% 62% 60% 55% 70% 49% 77% 48%
We are just witnessing a normal fluctuation in the earth’s climate 30% 31% 29% 28% 27% 36% 23% 39% 15% 47%
Don’t know 11% 9% 12% 10% 13% 9% 7% 12% 7% 6%
Base (n) 1,097 540 557 342 366 389 362 414 94 138
  • The majority of people accept that climate change is happening and caused by human activity (59%). This is consistent with previous years.
  • 30% think the changes in climate are part of a natural cycle and 11% are unsure. Those most likely to think we are witnessing a natural cycle include those aged over 55 (36%), Coalition voters (39%) and those voting for an independent or minor party (47%).

Addressing climate change

Oct 12, 2021

Q. As far as you know, do you think Australia is doing enough, not enough or too much to address climate change? 

Oct’21 Jun’21 Jan’21 Jun’20 Mar’20 Jan’20 Nov’19 Mar’19 Dec’18 Oct’18 Sep’17 Aug’16
Not doing enough 42% 45% 42% 52% 55% 62% 60% 51% 53% 56% 56% 52%
Doing enough 31% 30% 35% 25% 23% 19% 22% 27% 24% 23% 20% 22%
Doing too much 15% 12% 10% 10% 9% 8% 8% 11% 9% 7% 8% 8%
Don’t know 11% 13% 13% 13% 13% 11% 10% 12% 14% 13% 16% 18%
Base (n) 1,097 1,087 1,084 1,079 1,090 1,081 1,083 1,089 1,032 1,027 1,011 1,022

 

  Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
  Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
Not doing enough 42% 41% 43% 38% 44% 44% 56% 26% 58% 39%
Doing enough 31% 31% 32% 33% 25% 36% 27% 47% 17% 23%
Doing too much 15% 18% 12% 19% 17% 9% 8% 18% 18% 29%
Don’t know 11% 10% 13% 10% 14% 11% 9% 9% 7% 9%
Base (n) 1,097 540 557 342 366 389 362 414 94 138
  • Most people think Australia is not doing enough to address climate change (42%), with 31% who think we are doing enough and 15% who think Australia is doing too much to address climate change. Consistent with previous years, 11% don’t know.
  • Since June 2021, there has been a shift among women, those aged 18-34 and Labor voters – all of whom are less likely to think Australia is not doing enough to address climate change.
  • 43% of women say Australia is not doing enough (down from 49% in Jun’21), while 32% say we are doing enough (up from 27%).
  • 38% of women say Australia is not doing enough (down from 47% in Jun’21), while those saying Australia is doing too much has increased from 7% to 12%.
  • 56% of Labor voters say Australia is not doing enough (down from 64% in Jun’21), while 27% say we are doing enough (up from 19%).

Preferred emissions targets

Oct 12, 2021

Q. The federal government plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 26–28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. Which of the following would you prefer the federal government pursued?

  Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
  Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
Set a more ambitious target for 2030 43% 45% 42% 51% 43% 37% 52% 38% 56% 40%
Set a net zero target for 2050 25% 27% 23% 28% 24% 22% 25% 27% 30% 25%
Not set any targets for 2030 or 2050 13% 16% 10% 7% 10% 21% 8% 17% 4% 22%
Unsure 19% 12% 26% 13% 23% 21% 15% 18% 10% 13%
Column n 1,097 540 557 342 366 389 362 414 94 138
  • There is a demand for strong commitment to reducing emissions. 43% want to set a more ambitious target for 2030 with a further 25% wanting to aim for net-zero by 2050.
  • Over half of those aged 18-34, Labor and greens voters all want more ambitious targets for 2030.
  • The majority of Coalition voters at least want net-zero targets for 2050 (65%), with 38% wanting more ambitious targets for 2030.

Attitudes to Climate change and COP26 Summit

Oct 12, 2021

Q. The UN climate summit (COP26) will start on October 31 in Glasgow, Scotland.

During the summit, world leaders are expected to develop the next emissions standards to slow global warming and keep temperature rise below 1.5C. Australia is one of 200 countries expected to outline their emissions reduction goals for 2030.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements?

  TOTAL:

Agree

TOTAL:

Disagree

Strongly agree Somewhat agree Neither agree, nor disagree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagree
Australia needs to follow other countries’ lead and make climate change a priority, or risk being left behind 57% 17% 28% 29% 27% 10% 6%
Australian businesses have the opportunity to develop expertise in renewable energy and innovative technologies that other countries will demand 64% 9% 26% 39% 26% 7% 3%
Australian manufacturing could benefit from cheap electricity if more solar and wind farms were built 63% 13% 28% 36% 24% 7% 5%
Australia cannot afford to be locked out of the EU or other trade markets for failing to adopt a net zero emissions by 2050 target 57% 12% 25% 32% 31% 8% 4%

 

TOTAL: Agree Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
Australia needs to follow other countries’ lead and make climate change a priority, or risk being left behind 57% 56% 57% 56% 60% 53% 64% 52% 70% 51%
Australian businesses have the opportunity to develop expertise in renewable energy and innovative technologies that other countries will demand 64% 67% 62% 58% 64% 70% 67% 64% 68% 64%
Australian manufacturing could benefit from cheap electricity if more solar and wind farms were built 63% 63% 64% 56% 67% 66% 68% 61% 71% 58%
Australia cannot afford to be locked out of the EU or other trade markets for failing to adopt a net zero emissions by 2050 target 57% 60% 55% 48% 58% 64% 61% 58% 64% 51%
Column n 1,097 540 557 342 366 389 362 414 94 138
  • Most people agree that the expected emissions reduction goals for 2030 are both an opportunity and threat for Australia.
  • Just under two-thirds agree that Australia can develop expertise in renewable energy and innovative technologies that other countries will demand (64%) and that manufacturing could benefit from cheap electricity if more solar and wind farms were built (63%).
  • There is majority agreement with the threats for Australia if they do not match other countries’ commitments with 57% agreeing with both statements – that Australia needs to follow other countries’ lead and make climate change a priority, and Australia cannot afford to be locked out of the EU or other trade markets for failing to adopt a net zero emissions by 2050 target.

Concern about climate threats to Australia listed in IPCC report

Aug 17, 2021

Q. A recently released report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) found that changes to the earth’s climate are “unequivocally the result of human actions”, and increased global temperatures will cause unprecedented changes to the earth’s climate unless drastic action is taken over the next 10 years.

To what extent are you concerned about each of the following threats to Australia which the IPCC has listed in the report?

  TOTAL: Concerned TOTAL:

Not Concerned

Very concerned Moderately concerned Not that concerned Not concerned at all
More extreme and frequent bushfires, with longer fire seasons 81% 19% 43% 38% 14% 6%
Increased frequency of droughts in drier areas 79% 21% 40% 39% 15% 6%
Increased sea temperatures damaging marine ecosystems 76% 24% 37% 39% 18% 6%
More frequent heavy rainfall causing river floods and worse storms 75% 25% 32% 42% 19% 6%
Sea levels around Australia continuing to rise, causing coastal erosion and threatening communities 72% 28% 32% 40% 20% 8%
  • There is high concern for all impacts of climate change affecting Australia identified in the latest IPCC report.
  • 81% say they are concerned about the threat of more extreme and frequent bushfires (43% very concerned), and 79% are concerned about the increased frequency of drought in drier areas (40% very concerned).
  • Despite having the lowest concern of the threats, 72% of people say they are concerned with rising sea levels causing coastal erosion.
TOTAL:

Concerned

Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
More extreme and frequent bushfires, with longer fire seasons 81% 76% 85% 81% 83% 78% 87% 75% 92% 75%
Increased frequency of droughts in drier areas 79% 76% 82% 77% 84% 76% 84% 74% 91% 76%
Increased sea temperatures damaging marine ecosystems 76% 71% 80% 78% 80% 70% 83% 68% 93% 67%
More frequent heavy rainfall causing river floods and worse storms 75% 69% 80% 76% 79% 69% 81% 68% 87% 65%
Sea levels around Australia continuing to rise, causing coastal erosion and threatening communities 72% 66% 78% 73% 77% 67% 80% 64% 91% 68%
Base (n) 1,100 538 562 341 374 385 376 384 116 122

Support for government actions to combat IPCC report-listed climate threats

Aug 17, 2021

Q. To what extent would you support or oppose the following government actions?

  TOTAL: Support TOTAL: Oppose Strongly support Somewhat support Neither support nor oppose Somewhat oppose Strongly oppose
Provide greater funding for rooftop solar and household battery storage 70% 7% 41% 29% 23% 4% 3%
Introduce a levy to high carbon-emitting industries to encourage them to switch to renewable sources 63% 13% 34% 29% 24% 7% 6%
Set a nationwide ‘net zero’ carbon emissions target for 2030 61% 13% 33% 29% 25% 7% 6%
Plan for the closure of all fossil fuel-burning power stations, and transition to renewables and battery storage by 2030 61% 14% 32% 29% 25% 7% 7%
Stop public funding of all coal and gas mining in Australia 53% 17% 29% 23% 31% 9% 8%
Phase out new petrol cars by 2030 47% 24% 22% 24% 30% 12% 11%
  • The majority of people would support the introduction of many of the changes to policy listed. 70% support greater government funding for installation of rooftop solar panels and household battery storage, and 63% support the introduction of a levy to high carbon-emitting industries.
  • 61% of people support both setting a nationwide ‘net zero’ carbon emission target for 2030, and the closure of all fossil fuel-burning power stations, and transition to renewables and battery storage by 2030. Just over half (53%) support the end of public funding for coal and gas mining in Australia.
  • 47% are in favour of the phase-out of new petrol cars by 2030.
TOTAL: Support Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
Provide greater funding for rooftop solar and household battery storage 70% 70% 71% 65% 73% 72% 75% 68% 85% 66%
Introduce a levy to high carbon-emitting industries to encourage them to switch to renewable sources 63% 59% 66% 61% 68% 58% 72% 55% 82% 50%
Set a nationwide ‘net zero’ carbon emissions target for 2030 61% 61% 62% 64% 66% 55% 70% 54% 85% 50%
Plan for the closure of all fossil fuel-burning power stations, and transition to renewables and battery storage by 2030 61% 60% 62% 66% 64% 54% 72% 52% 82% 53%
Stop public funding of all coal and gas mining in Australia 53% 54% 52% 56% 58% 44% 63% 43% 76% 39%
Phase out new petrol cars by 2030 47% 48% 45% 53% 51% 36% 51% 42% 76% 37%
Base (n) 1,100 538 562 341 374 385 376 384 116 122
  • Those aged 18-34 have higher support than those aged over 55 for all measures, except greater funding for rooftop solar and household battery storage.
  • Coalition voters and those voting for a minor party or independent candidate have the lowest support for the introduction of all these measures. Labor and Greens voters are the most likely to support all measures.
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