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Cotton, Deborah

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  • Paper Title: Climate Change; Level of Concern and Policy Preferences
  • Department Affiliation: Applied Finance and Actuarial Studies
  • Supervisor's Name: Associate Professor Stefan Trueck

Purpose:

To determine the level of importance/concern the Australian public feel towards the issue of climate change.

We undertake a survey to determine the level of importance/concern the Australian public feel towards the issue of climate change. An online survey was undertaken on 1000 participants with demographics that aligned with the overall Australian population. This survey initially determined the importance respondents place on global and local policy issues finding over 70% found climate change to be important or very important. Some information was then provided from the CSIRO of evidence of changes that have already occurred due to climate change. Participants were also provided with brief summaries of two policies, carbon tax and cap and trade, and asked questions about their preferences. The survey found over 50% of participants believe climate action should be undertaken in Australia irrespective of whether other countries do or not with a further 39% agreeing if there was international agreement. The study also determined other details about the policy preferences such as the coverage in terms of sectors and globally and where government funds should be targeted.

Design/Methodology/Approach:

Online survey of 1000 respondents Australia wide, analysed using statistical analysis to determine significance of findings.

Originality:

To our knowledge this is the first paper which has explicitly measured, from a broad cross section of the community, what, if any action they want on climate change.

Key literature/Theoretical Perspective:

Australian Legislation on climate change policies, UNFCCC and other literature from surveys conducted around the world.

Practical and Social Implications:

At a time in Australia when climate change has affected political success, the publics’ view is of critical importance. Decision-makers are faced with responding to a global obligation to tackling climate change, but policy-makers face domestic constraints and competing interests, not least of which is often their own election. This survey has been a major source of information in a submission made to the Multi-Party Climate Change Committee.

Keywords:

Climate change, Public response, Cap and Trade, Carbon Tax.