The Australia Institute’s annual Climate of the Nation Report provides a comprehensive account of changing Australian beliefs and attitudes towards climate change, including its causes, impacts and solutions. For the first time, Climate of the Nation 2022 includes a chapter on Australians’ views on transport solutions, including quantitative polling and qualitative focus group studies.
Tracking Australia’s attitudes towards climate change and energy [Extract]
Climate of the Nation 2022 shows that concern about climate change remains at an all-time high and there is broad support for a range of decarbonisation policies and climate actions.
Concern about climate change remains at record high
Three-quarters (75%) of Australians are concerned about climate change, the same level of concern seen in 2021 and the highest since Climate of the Nation began. The intensity of concern has increased as well, with record high levels of those who are ‘very concerned’ about climate change (42%).
The top three climate impacts of concern are more droughts and flooding affecting crop production and food supply (83%), more bushfires (83%), and the extinction of animal and plant species (80%).
Support for phase out of coal power
Four-fifths (79%) of Australians believe that Australia’s coal- fired power stations should be phased out, including half (49%) who think they should be phased out gradually and 31% who think they should be phased out as soon as possible. Across all political affiliations, respondents are more likely to think coal- fired power stations should be phased out than be kept running for as long as possible or never replaced by other power sources. Almost two-thirds (65%) of Australians want coal-fired power generation completely ended within the next 20 years, including 38% who want it ended within the next decade.
Electricity price rises blamed on privatisation, excessive profit margins and excessive gas exports
The rising cost of electricity and gas was in the spotlight for much of 2022. Most Australians blame increasing electricity prices on the privatisation of electricity generation and supply (48%), excessive profit margins of electricity companies (46%), or excessive gas exports making domestic gas really expensive (42%). Almost two-thirds (64%) agree that failure by the market to prepare for a transition away from fossil fuels has led to electricity price increases, including 31% that strongly agree.
Support for not approving new gas, coal or oil projects
The International Energy Agency (IEA) pathway says that no new fossil fuel projects should be approved in order to avoid ‘the worst effects of climate change’ by limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C. A majority of Australians (57%) support Australia following the IEA pathway, to not approve any new gas, coal or oil projects.
Two-thirds (64%) of Australians support stopping new coal mines. One-quarter (26%) want new coal mines to be allowed, including 6% who support using taxpayer funds to subsidise them. Three-quarters (73%) think Australian governments should plan to phase out coal mining and transition into other industries.
Magdalena is the President of the AFMW (2020-) and former President of VMWS (2013 & 2017-2020), National Coordinator AFMW, MWIA Scientific and Research Subcommittee co-Chair, MWIA Mentoring and Leadership, Special Interest Group, Chair
Magdalena’s deep engagements with the RACGP over many years includes chair of Women in General Practice, is currently on the RACGP Expert Committee Quality Care, prior to that on RACGP eHealth Expert Committee. She is a regular media spokesperson on numerous health issues, being interviewed most weeks by mainstream and medical media. Magdalena has represented the RACGP at senate enquiries and has worked on several National Health Framework reviews.
Both an RACGP examiner and University examiner she supervises medical students and undertakes general practice research. Roles outside of RACGP include the Strategy and Policy Committee for Breast Cancer Network Australia, Board Director of Women’s Health Victoria and Chair of their Strategy and Policy subcommittee and the AMA Victoria GP Network Committee.
Magdalena has presented at the United Nations as part of the Australian Assembly and was recently appointed the Australian representative to the World Health Organisation, World Assembly on COVID 19, by the Medical Women’s International Association (MWIA).