Essential Report

Climate change acceptance

Jan 19, 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?

Jan’21 Jan’20 Nov’19 Mar’19 Oct’18 Sep’17 Aug’16
Climate change is happening and is caused by human activity 58% 56% 61% 62% 63% 64% 57%
We are just witnessing a normal fluctuation in the earth’s climate 32% 32% 28% 27% 25% 24% 26%
Don’t know 10% 13% 11% 12% 13% 12% 17%
Base (n) 1,084 1,081 1,083 1,089 1,027 1,011 1,022
  • There has been little shift in attitudes to the acceptance of climate change over recent years. Over half of people (58%) believe climate change is happening and is caused by human activity.
  • Over a third still believe we are just witnessing a normal fluctuation in the earth’s climate (32%) and 10% aren’t sure which they believe. 
  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 58% 54% 61% 62% 58% 54% 67% 50% 78% 45%
We are just witnessing a normal fluctuation in the earth’s climate 32% 36% 28% 24% 31% 40% 24% 43% 17% 44%
Don’t know 10% 9% 11% 15% 11% 6% 9% 7% 5% 11%
Base (n) 1,084 539 545 341 358 385 334 431 118 106
  • Acceptance that climate change is happening and is caused by human activity is high across all voters, but highest among Greens voters (78%) and Labor voters (67%), followed by Coalition voters (50%) and other voters (45%).
  • Climate change denial is highest among Coalition voters (43%), those over 55 (40%) and men (36%), whom are the most likely to believe we are just witnessing a normal fluctuation in the earth’s climate.

Addressing climate change

Jan 19, 2021

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

Jan’21 Jan’20 Nov’19 Mar’19 Dec’18 Oct’18 Sep’17 Aug’16
Not doing enough 42% 62% 60% 51% 53% 56% 56% 52%
Doing enough 35% 19% 22% 27% 24% 23% 20% 22%
Doing too much 10% 8% 8% 11% 9% 7% 8% 8%
Don’t know 13% 11% 10% 12% 14% 13% 16% 18%
Base (n) 1,084 1,081 1,083 1,089 1,032 1,027 1,011 1,022
  • Over a third (35%) of people think Australia is doing enough to address climate change, the highest proportion in the last five years.
  • 42% still think not enough is being done, however this is a significant drop from last year (62%) and the years before.
  • 10% think Australia is doing too much to address climate change and 13% don’t know. Both figures are similar to previous years. 
  Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
  Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
Not doing enough 42% 36% 48% 40% 41% 45% 56% 28% 69% 39%
Doing enough 35% 38% 33% 33% 34% 39% 29% 52% 17% 28%
Doing too much 10% 15% 4% 9% 13% 7% 6% 12% 7% 21%
Don’t know 13% 11% 15% 17% 12% 9% 9% 8% 8% 12%
Base (n) 1,084 539 545 341 358 385 334 431 118 106
  • Greens voters are the most likely to think Australia is not doing enough to address climate change (69%), followed by Labor voters (56%).
  • Compared to other voters, Coalition voters are the most likely to think enough is being done (52%), and those voting for minor and independent parties are the most likely to think Australia is doing too much for climate change (21%).
  • Women are more likely to think not enough is being done to address climate change than men (48% to 36% respectively).

Support for government action on climate change

Dec 1, 2020

Q. To what extent would you support or oppose the following policy proposals if they were adopted by the Federal Government?

TOTAL: Support Nov’20 Jan’20
Requiring mining companies to fund bushfire hazard reduction 80% 68%
Setting a zero-carbon pollution target for 2030 75% 64%
Setting a zero-carbon pollution target for 2050 81% 71%
Ban all political donations from fossil fuel companies 72% 62%
Accelerate development of new industries and jobs that are powered by renewable energy 87% 81%
New coal mines opening in Australia 49%
The fossil fuel industry receiving taxpayer funded subsidies 42%
  • Support for government action on climate change has increased since earlier this year across the policy proposals put forward.
  TOTAL: Support TOTAL: Oppose Strongly support Somewhat support Somewhat oppose Strongly oppose
Requiring mining companies to fund bushfire hazard reduction 80% 20% 31% 49% 15% 5%
Setting a zero-carbon pollution target for 2030 75% 25% 35% 40% 16% 8%
Setting a zero-carbon pollution target for 2050 81% 19% 36% 44% 13% 7%
Ban all political donations from fossil fuel companies 72% 28% 30% 42% 21% 7%
Accelerate development of new industries and jobs that are powered by renewable energy 87% 13% 44% 43% 9% 4%
New coal mines opening in Australia 49% 51% 15% 34% 27% 24%
The fossil fuel industry receiving taxpayer funded subsidies 42% 58% 11% 31% 34% 24%
  • 87% would support accelerating development of new industries and jobs that are powered by renewable energy and 80% would support requiring mining companies to fund bushfire hazard reduction.
  • 81% would support setting a zero-carbon pollution target for 2050 and 75% would support setting this target for 2030.
  • The most contentious issues are new coal mines opening in Australia (49% support vs 51% oppose) and the fossil fuel industry receiving taxpayer funded subsidies (42% support vs 58% oppose), where we see more of a divide between support and opposition compared to other policy proposals.
TOTAL: Support Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
Requiring mining companies to fund bushfire hazard reduction 80% 75% 85% 76% 83% 80% 82% 79% 88% 77%
Setting a zero-carbon pollution target for 2030 75% 69% 81% 74% 81% 72% 82% 67% 93% 74%
Setting a zero-carbon pollution target for 2050 81% 78% 83% 81% 84% 77% 88% 75% 88% 72%
Ban all political donations from fossil fuel companies 72% 71% 73% 71% 78% 67% 74% 65% 87% 75%
Accelerate development of new industries and jobs that are powered by renewable energy 87% 84% 89% 81% 88% 91% 88% 87% 92% 82%
New coal mines opening in Australia 49% 56% 42% 53% 54% 41% 43% 57% 23% 52%
The fossil fuel industry receiving taxpayer funded subsidies 42% 43% 40% 48% 48% 29% 41% 44% 23% 40%
Base (n) 1,034 528 506 329 320 385 322 430 88 107
  • Support for government action on climate change is higher among women compared to men, especially regarding setting a zero-carbon pollution target for 2030 (81% to 69%) and requiring mining companies to fund bushfire hazard reduction (85% to 75%). Women are less likely than men to support the opening of new coal mines (49% to 56%).
  • Coalition voters have the highest support for opening new coal mines (57% compared to 52% minor party voters, 43% Labor voters and 23% Greens voters).

Relative concern for the climate change

Mar 31, 2020

Q. Considering everything which has happened so far this year, are you now more or less concerned about the impact of climate change than you were a year ago?

    Gender Age Group Location
Total Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Capital Non-Capital
More concerned about the impact of climate change 31% 32% 30% 41% 27% 27% 34% 25%
No more or less concerned about the impact of climate change 53% 49% 56% 45% 56% 56% 50% 58%
Less concerned about the impact of climate change 16% 19% 14% 14% 17% 17% 16% 17%
Base (n) 1,086 539 547 341 362 383 727 359

Addressing Climate Change

Mar 31, 2020

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

  Mar’20 Nov’19 Mar’19 Dec’18 Oct’18 Sep’17 Aug’16
Doing enough 23% 22% 27% 24% 23% 20% 22%
Not doing enough 55% 60% 51% 53% 56% 56% 52%
Doing too much 9% 8% 11% 9% 7% 8% 8%
Don’t know 13% 10% 12% 14% 13% 16% 18%
Base (n) 1,086 1,083 1,089 1,032 1,027 1,011 1,022

 

    Gender Age Group Voting Intention
Total Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor Coalition Greens NET: Other
Doing enough 23% 26% 21% 19% 24% 26% 18% 36% 8% 20%
Not doing enough 55% 51% 59% 63% 54% 49% 66% 37% 86% 52%
Doing too much 9% 12% 5% 7% 6% 13% 5% 13% 2% 15%
Don’t know 13% 11% 16% 12% 15% 12% 11% 14% 4% 14%
Base (n) 1,086 539 547 341 362 383 328 372 95 146

 

Support for zero-carbon pollution target for 2050

Feb 25, 2020

Q. To what extent would you support or oppose setting a zero-carbon pollution target for 2050 if it were adopted by the Federal Government?

    Federal Voting Intention (Lower House) Jan’20
Total Labor Coalition Greens NET: Other
Strongly support 31% 38% 22% 59% 19% 32%
Somewhat support 44% 42% 46% 33% 44% 39%
Somewhat oppose 15% 13% 17% 6% 17% 18%
Strongly oppose 11% 7% 15% 2% 20% 12%
NET: Support 75% 80% 68% 91% 63% 71%
NET: Oppose 25% 20% 32% 9% 37% 29%
Base (n) 1,090 336 390 104 146 1,080
  • 75% of participants support setting a zero-carbon pollution target for 2050 if it were adopted by the Federal Government, up from 71% in January.
  • The majority of all party voter support the introduction of targets. 91% of Greens voters, 80% of Labor and 68% of Coalition party voters all support the introduction of targets.
  • Women (79%), capital city residents (77%) and Greens voters (91%) are most likely to support this initiative.
  • Men (70%), non-capital city residents (70%) and independent/other party voters (63%) are least likely to support this initiative.

Climate Change Policy Proposals

Jan 29, 2020

Q. To what extent would you support or oppose the following policy proposals if they were adopted by the Federal Government?

  NET: Support NET: Oppose Strongly support Somewhat support Somewhat oppose Strongly oppose
Accelerate development of new industries and jobs that are powered by renewable energy 81% 19% 41% 40% 12% 7%
Setting a zero-carbon pollution target for 2050 71% 29% 32% 39% 18% 12%
Requiring mining companies to fund bushfire hazard reduction 68% 32% 25% 43% 21% 11%
Remove taxpayer funded subsidies to the fossil fuel industry 68% 32% 30% 38% 22% 11%
Setting a zero-carbon pollution target for 2030 64% 36% 26% 38% 21% 15%
Ban all political donations from fossil fuel companies 62% 38% 28% 34% 25% 13%
Prevention of new coal mines opening in Australia 62% 38% 27% 35% 23% 16%

 

  Voting Intention
 NET: SUPPORT Total Labor Liberal + National Greens NET: Other
Accelerate development of new industries and jobs that are powered by renewable energy 81% 86% 75% 87% 77%
Setting a zero-carbon pollution target for 2050 71% 81% 56% 89% 62%
Requiring mining companies to fund bushfire hazard reduction 68% 78% 54% 76% 68%
Remove taxpayer funded subsidies to the fossil fuel industry 68% 77% 56% 83% 64%
Setting a zero-carbon pollution target for 2030 64% 77% 47% 87% 52%
Ban all political donations from fossil fuel companies 62% 72% 48% 79% 57%
Prevention of new coal mines opening in Australia 62% 70% 48% 84% 51%
Base (n) 1,080 351 342 110 156
  • 81% of participants support the accelerated development of new industries and jobs that are powered by renewable energy and 71% support a zero-carbon pollution target to be set for 2050.
  • Support for all policies was higher among Labor and greens voters, and lower among Coalition.

Climate Change

Nov 26, 2019

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?

Nov’19 Mar’19 Oct’18 Sep’17 Aug’16
Climate change is happening and is caused by human activity 61% 62% 63% 64% 57%
We are just witnessing a normal fluctuation in the earth’s climate 28% 27% 25% 24% 26%
Don’t know 11% 12% 13% 12% 17%
Base (n) 1,083 1,089 1,027 1,011 1,022

 

  Total Gender Age Voting Intention
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor Coalition Greens NET: Other
Climate change is happening and is caused by human activity 61% 59% 63% 74% 61% 50% 74% 47% 89% 44%
We are just witnessing a normal fluctuation in the earth’s climate 28% 32% 25% 18% 25% 41% 16% 43% 1% 48%
Don’t know 11% 9% 12% 8% 15% 9% 10% 10% 10% 7%
Base (n) 1,083 527 556 329 369 385 342 373 93 162

 61% believe that climate change is happening and is caused by human activity. This is consistent with previous results in Mar’19 (62%) and Oct’18 (63%).

  • 28% believe that we may just be witnessing a normal fluctuation in the earth’s climate, no change from earlier in the year (27% in March).
  • By age groups, those aged 18-34 were most likely to believe in man-made climate change (74%) and those over 55+ least so (50%).
  • Less than half of Coalition votes (47%) believe that climate change is happening and is caused by human activity.
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