By Celine Lai
A majority of voters in every federal seat in Australia support increased action on climate change and the adoption of renewable technology over the government’s plan for a gas-led recovery, according to the largest poll ever conducted on climate change and politics in the country.
The survey of 15,000 Australians conducted by YouGov on behalf of the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) found 67 percent of voters believe the government should be doing more to address climate change, including a majority in all 151 national seats.
In the Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s electorate of Cook, up to 59 percent of voters want more done on climate action. 25 percent of voters said climate change would be the most important issue at the next election, 41 percent rated it as among their three most important issues, with 34 percent rating it as having low or no importance.
In Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce’s seat of New England, up to 55 percent of voters want more action, and the same proportion do not believe coal and gas-fired power stations should be part of Australia’s future energy supply.
As the government prepares for the COP26 United Nations climate talks in Glasgow in November, the survey shows that 41 percent of voters want the government to reach net zero before 2050.
Monash academic and political commentator Zareh Ghazarian said the polling showed there was obvious concern about climate change, but it was impossible to say how this would translate into voting behaviour.
“It’s interesting data because you can see climate change is important to a lot of people,” Dr Ghazarian said.
“I suspect it [climate change] would be at the top of the political agenda if we weren’t in a pandemic, and there is an appetite in the community for governments to be putting clearer ideas forward.”
ROAD TO GLASGOW – ( from the Sydney Morning Herald )
Mr Morrison has said the government intended to get to net zero as soon as possible, and preferably by 2050, though critics are calling for a firm target.
The Australian government has a target for reducing emissions by between 26 and 28 percent by 2030, compared with the United Kingdom’s target of 78 percent by 2035 and the United States’ goal of 50-52 per cent by 2035.
The Australian government is expected to come under international pressure during the COP26 talks to increase its 2030 goals, though some of its MPs, particularly in the Nationals, are concerned about the economic and political cost of increased action.
ACF chief executive Kelly O’Shanassy said she was not surprised by the overwhelming support for renewable energy the survey found, but that those views were shared in so-called coal seats.
“Even the electorates that have coal and gas communities in them are rejecting the idea of coal and gas being a big part of our energy future going forward,” she said.
The above is an extract from the Sydney Morning Herald. Read the full news article here.
COP26 Glasgow talks
The Morrison government is touting a “technology-driven” roadmap to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, despite the overwhelming science that carbon capture and storage (CCS) is not enough. The International Energy Agency has said that no new gas or coal projects should go ahead.
Increasingly, scientists and economists are publicly stating that all economically developed nations need the political will and communication arrangements to implement the global infrastructure changes to revitalise the global economy, without fossil fuels; and with fair or just transitions for fossil fuel workers to replacement industries.
The Conference of Parties (COP26) is a summit that brings parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. It will be held in Glasgow, United Kingdom, from 31 October to 12 November 2021.
In April, former Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, spoke to the ABC News saying that every nation has to increase its Nationally Determined Contributions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and that the Government’s “technology roadmap” is “nonsense” because it is not enough. You can watch the interview on YouTube at the link below.
We cannot escape the undeniable evidence: there’s no place for new coal or fossil gas in Australia, and it’s time now for the fossil fuel industry and its supporters to get on with a just transition.
As a group, 350 Boorloo Perth is committed to a just transition away from fossil fuels in Western Australia. We are determined to prevent the Scarborough gas project from going ahead, in order to save over 1.6 billion tonnes of carbon pollution being released into the atmosphere. Whilst the current government has hitherto been failing to act on climate, we currently have a HUGE opportunity to intervene. Building the climate movement here in WA will also put pressure on the state and federal government to act in alignment with the community rather than fossil fuel interests.
Join us in the movement for climate justice and to prevent more dirty fossil fuel projects from going ahead!