Aussies put emissions above bills: survey

Angelo Risso
(Australian Associated Press)

 

A majority of Australians say the federal government’s highest energy policy priority should be the reduction of carbon emissions – and not lower prices.

That’s the outcome of a poll of almost 3300 Australians conducted by the Lowy Institute think tank on the country’s climate change views.

The mid-April poll of 3286 people found 55 per cent of Australians want the government’s foremost priority for energy policy to be “reducing carbon emissions”, eight points higher than two years ago.

In comparison, 32 per cent of people wanted the lowest possible energy price.

Three quarters of respondents, meanwhile, said the future benefits of taking action on climate change outweigh the contemporary costs.

This includes the subsidisation of renewable energy technologies, with more than 90 per cent of people saying Canberra should tip in more money.

Despite the repeal of Australia’s carbon price seven years ago, more than six in 10 Australians also continue to advocate for an emissions trading scheme.

“Several important results in this new poll show overall concern about climate change has increased in 2021,” the Lowy Institute report notes.

Elsewhere, the Lowy report found 63 per cent of people think there should be a ban on new coal mines in Australia, and coal exports should also be reduced.

Two thirds of people in 2016 believed Australia should keep exporting coal.

And as November’s Glasgow climate summit inches closer, seven in 10 Australians believe the country should boost its climate pledges.

Yet while 60 per cent of respondents said Australia should do more to combat climate change, a greater proportion of Australians said other countries – such as China, India and the United States – should also do more.

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