Most Aussies take climate change seriously

MOST Australians believe climate change is affecting the globe, the Climate of the Nation 2013 report revealed on Tuesday.

The annual Climate Institute report shows 66% of Australians take climate change seriously, and 87% of those think it is already having an impact.

Institute chief executive John Connor said it had also shown Australian attitudes towards climate change were turning towards "give carbon pricing a go".

"Two-thirds are concerned about the cost-of-living impacts on food prices and insurance premiums of further extreme weather events as a result of climate change," he said.

"Climate change is not perceived as a priority issue in the upcoming federal election, but it's not for lack of people's interest or concern for the issue.

Mr Connor said opposition to carbon pricing had fallen, but that did not show the policy was popular or understood.

"Support remains soft but it rises to a majority when people understand the policy correctly, that is that all of the revenue raised from it goes to support households and industry, and is invested in renewable energy," he said.

The report also found 58% of Australians think the nation should be a "leader in finding solutions on climate change".

It also found the Labor Party was seen as having a more credible climate change policy (at 26%) than the Coalition (at 19%).

Mr Connor said the report showed the nation had moved on from last year when "fear and fury" dominated climate discussion, but there was still confusion and cynicism about the policy.

 

KEY FINDINGS:

  • 66% agree that climate change is occurring.
  • 87% think humans are partly to blame, and impacts are already happening.
  • 11% of those who agree climate change is occurring think it is caused solely by natural cycles.
  • 58% think that Australia should be a leader in finding solutions on climate change.
  • 43% think that now the carbon tax is in, they it should be given at least a few years to work
  • 24% think that if the laws were abolished electricity prices would go down to pre-law levels.

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