Australians Want More Government Focus On Renewable Energy: Poll

Poll results just released indicate an overwhelming majority of Australians want to see a greater government focus on renewable energy, even if it costs more.

The latest Lowy Institute Poll results show 81% of Australians want the government to ‘focus on renewables, even if this means we may need to invest more in infrastructure to make the system more reliable’.

Just 17% believe the government should focus on energy sources such as coal and gas.

renewable-energy-lowyAlex Oliver, Director of the Institute’s polling program, says this year’s results align with previous findings of preference for alternative energy sources.

In a related article published on the Sydney Morning Herald, Ms. Oliver also stated the results were surprising given the poll was run while events such as the state-wide blackout in South Australia and the impacts of New South Wales’ heatwave on electricity supplies were still fresh in people’s minds.

The poll also indicated climate change is becoming more of a concern for Australians, with the majority seeing it as a serious threat. 54% agree that ‘global warming is a serious and pressing problem [and] we should begin taking steps now even if this involves significant costs’.  This view was up 18 points compared to 2012. Only 15% felt climate change did not pose an important threat.

climate-change-lowyThe issue of climate change was ranked number three of top concerns in the poll, behind international terrorism and North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

The 2017 Lowy Institute Poll was a nationally representative telephone survey of 1200 Australian adults conducted between 1 and 21 March 2017 and full results will be released on June 21. The Institute is an independent, nonpartisan international policy think tank located based in Sydney.

The results come just prior to release of the Independent Review into the Future Security of the National Electricity Market final report, also known as the “Finkel Review”. Chair of the Review Panel is Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr. Alan Finkel.

Fossil fuels are continuing to fall out of favour with Australians not just due to the effects of burning them, but also the impacts associated with how they are extracted. A survey we covered last month indicated twice the number of Australians support moratoriums on fracking for coal seam gas compared to those who oppose them.


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