Essential Report

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).

Government support for coal-fired power plants

Feb 25, 2020

Q. Which of the following statements regarding the future of coal is closest to your view?

  Total Federal Voting Intention (Lower House)
  Labor Coalition Greens NET: Other
The government should be working to shut down mines and coal-fired power plants as soon as possible 32% 36% 21% 62% 27%
The government should let the coal mining industry and coal-fired power plants continue operating as long as they are profitable, but not subsidise them or support the expansion of the industry 47% 45% 52% 28% 50%
The government should subsidise coal-fired power plants to keep them going and provide financial support for new mines and other projects in the coal industry 21% 19% 27% 10% 22%
Base (n) 1,090 336 390 104 146
  • 47% of participants say that letting the coal mining industry and coal-fired power plants continue operating as long as they are profitable, but not subsidise them or support the expansion of the industry is closest to their view.
  • A third (32%) say working to shut down mines and coal-fired power plants as soon as possible is closest to their view, with Greens voters most likely to select that option (62%).
  • Coalition voters are most likely to say subsidising coal-fired power plants to keep them going and provide financial support for new mines and other projects in the coal industry, is closest to their view (27%).

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).

Renewables vs fossil fuels

Sep 2, 2014

Q. As far as you know, which energy source – renewable energy like solar and wind OR fossil fuels like coal and gas – is better for each of the following?

 

 

Renewable energy better

Fossil fuels better

No difference

Don’t know

The environment

77%

5%

8%

11%

The economy

39%

29%

14%

18%

Jobs

36%

25%

19%

20%

Electricity costs

45%

19%

14%

22%

Overall, respondents think that renewable energy is better for the environment (77%), electricity costs (45%), the economy (39%) and jobs (36%).

Older respondents tended to have a slightly more positive view of renewable energy – for those aged 55+, 47% believe renewables are better for the economy.

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