Media Releases | 11th Apr, 2002

Victorians concern about climate change heightened: new survey

Friday, 12 April 2002

There has been a marked increase in public concern about climate change, with 88% of Victorians believing that climate change is mostly the result of human actions, according to a new social research report.

Victorians are also willing to see radical steps taken to reduce greenhouse pollution. 75% of Victorians support a phase out of coal-fired power stations and 51% do not agree with building new coal fired power stations to provide more electricity.

“This report shows that public opinion on climate change is ahead of our politicians,” said Darren Gladman, Director of Environment Victoria’s climate change program. “The Victorian Government is currently assessing tenders for brown coal exploration permits even though the majority of the public supports a phase out of coal-fired power.”

The findings of the TNS research are complimented by a recent indepth study of the attitudes and behaviour of the Moreland community. This research found that 87% of Moreland householders are concerned about greenhouse gases causing global warming. At the same time, Moreland residents support taking action to reduce the demand for energy, with 85% agreeing that cutting down on the amount of energy they use will make a difference.

“Reducing the demand for energy is crucial to reducing greenhouse emissions and creating the environment where coal fired power stations can be phased out and replaced with clean, renewable energy”, said Esther Abram, CEO of the Moreland Energy Foundation Ltd. “ Both the Moreland and TNS studies show that more emphasis on demand management by government will be popular with the Victorian community”.

Key findings of the TNS report are:

88% of Victorians believe that global warming is mostly a result of humans producing greenhouse gases, rather than it just being a natural cycle that the earth goes through

75% of Victorians agree that the government should be planning to phase out coal power stations in Australia over the next 20 years and replace them with renewable energy and gas power stations

60% of Victorians believe the Government should introduce new laws to ensure people become more energy efficient

The national social research report into community attitudes about climate change is the first of its kind to be available to the public and was undertaken by international research firm Taylor Nelson Sofres. The report, commissioned by the Climate Action Network Australia, draws on representative polling, poll analysis and focus group research.