More than two-thirds of Australians are concerned about the long-term threat climate change poses to our way of life, higher than the same fears two years ago and continuing an upward trend over the past decade, the annual Ipsos Climate Change Report 2023 has revealed.
Data collected in May 2023 shows that 67% of Australians believe that climate change is a serious threat to our way of life in the next 25 years, and almost 10% of similar concerns in 2010.
Two-thirds of Australians now believe climate change is already causing more bushfires, storms and floods, amid a growing consensus that climate change is directly affecting the country.
Overall concern about climate change remains high, with eight in 10 Australians (81%) saying they are at least “somewhat concerned” about climate change, in line with previous years.
Renewable energy remains the top environmental issue Australians want action on, with almost half (47%) naming it as their priority, while they are most concerned about the impact of climate change on biodiversity and people in other parts of the world.
A majority believe the country should do more to address climate change, with 6 in 10 saying Australia should be a global leader in emissions reductions. A third of Australians think the Federal Government is not doing enough to address climate change; however, there is strong support for the Federal Government’s latest commitment to a 43% reduction in carbon emissions below 2005 levels (59% of respondents).
Views of the potential for personal action to bring about change are waning, with only 46% of Australians believing they can personally make a difference to the effects of climate change, down from 54 % in 2022 and 50% in 2021. Four in 10 said they would take more action if they knew everyone else was doing the same.
The confidence that the energy transfer will lead to positive results also seems to be decreasing. The proportion of Australians who believe a shift to renewable energy will have a positive impact on the cost of living, employment and energy supply reliability has fallen since 2022.
Director of Public Affairs at Ipsos, Stuart Clark, said, “Australians are increasingly concerned about the potential long-term effects of climate change. There are more immediate concerns about its contribution to extreme weather conditions. .
“For the most part, people believe that Australian governments have a long way to go to take positive action on climate change; many people want the country to take action and become a leader in the climate change space.” of the climate, which drives the transition to renewables.”
Can industries do more to demonstrate their potential to take positive action on climate change?
When it comes to business actions, Australians primarily focus on the role of multinationals and large Australian businesses for their capacity to effect positive climate change impacts.
- The sectors most considered to make the biggest impact through action are coal, oil and gas (46%), energy (30%), mining (26%), and waste (20%).
- Sectors such as fashion, banking, and pharmaceuticals are viewed by Australians as least likely to influence climate change, despite global pushbacks targeting industries such as fast fashion and the negative its effect.
Individuals are increasingly switching to solar and other renewable energy sources and making proactive ‘green’ choices in product and service selection.
Australians see individuals playing a role in addressing climate change; however, see their actions may have less impact than government and business. Australians are increasingly afraid of their individual actions having little effect.
- Acknowledging personal responsibility to help do something about climate change has dropped to 63%, from 67% in 2022.
- Belief that individuals can make a difference on climate change also declined, from 54% in 2022 and 50% in 2021.
- Four in 10 indicated they would take more action on climate change if they knew everyone else was doing the same.
Department of Industry, Energy, Science and Resources statistics on household solar installations show that Australia has the highest solar absorption in the world at approximately 30%. The Ipsos Climate Change Report 2023 figures align showing that 29% of Australians have already installed solar.
Australians are also active in improving energy efficiency around the home (32%) and consider the products they buy in relation to how they are made, materials and end-of-life disposal (25%).
IPSOS Climate Change Report 2023: www.ipsos.com/sites/default/fi … hangeReport_2023.pdf
Citation: Australians’ concern about climate change is growing, according to report (2023, July 17) retrieved on 18 July 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-07-australians-climate. html
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