Australians demand more action on climate change from government

Informing Australian economic and social policy.

A partnership between the Melbourne Institute and Roy Morgan

Taking the Pulse of the Nation (TTPN) surveys the Australian public to capture their feelings and behaviors related to current economic and social issues

Since 2020, the Taking the Pulse of the Nation (TTPN) survey has collected compelling insights into the changing behaviors and attitudes of Australians. Together, the Melbourne Institute and Roy Morgan understand the importance of capturing the voices of Australians on the issues that matter right now. We use this information to create expert analysis to directly inform our nation’s social and economic policies.

Data from this survey are publicly available upon request. Please contact us for more information and access.

Australians demand more action on climate change from government

Climate change and environmental degradation are pressing challenges facing the planet. Many countries, including Australia, have experienced severe hurricanes, storms, heat waves and bushfires, as well as slow-onset impacts such as sea level rise, land degradation and bleaching corals.

Most Australians believe that previous governments did not do enough to tackle climate change. As the climate crisis worsens, most Australians have pledged to cut their own energy consumption to tackle the problem.

Australians disappointed by past governments’ lack of climate action

The majority (72%) believe the Australian government has historically done too little to tackle climate change – with 76% of women and 67% of men indicating that not enough action has been taken.

Australians pledge to reduce their energy consumption

More than 85% of Australians think it is important or very important to reduce their own energy consumption and the amount of energy bills to minimize their impact on climate change (Figure 2). Around 68% of Australians think installing solar panels is an important step in reducing a household’s carbon footprint – with 51% saying they have already installed or will soon install solar panels.

Engagement with local government could be improved

Local governments have an important role to play in building trust in communities to respond effectively to climate change. However, Australians seem disengaged with their local government, with half saying they will not contact their local representatives to take climate action.

The need for stronger climate policy, prompted by the recent federal election, has given the current government an opportunity to make more effective changes. While most Australians have pledged to minimize their impact on climate change by actively reducing their energy consumption and installing solar panels, they feel disappointed by previous governments’ commitment to act actively to minimize the country’s impact on the environment. Local governments have an important role to play in motivating communities to respond effectively to climate change, but trust needs to be restored following the perceived inaction of former governments.

Author: Dr Ou Yang, Researcher, Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research

Contact: [email protected]

Visit the Melbourne Institute’s Pulse of the Nation web portal for more information – and to access interactive charts and other TTPN results.

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