Australians’ climate fears grow as bushfires rage – politics live | Australia news

The annual Climate of the Nation survey, which has been tracking Australian attitudes to climate change for more than a decade, finds concern about droughts and flooding has risen from 74% of the survey in 2017 to 81% in 2019.

Concern about climate-related extinctions – an issue highlighted dramatically in May when a major scientific report warned that a million species across the world faced extinction – has risen from 71% in 2017 to 78% in the 2019 survey, while concern about water shortages, an issue front of mind as a consequence of Australia’s prolonged drought, has increased from 67% to 78%.

Public sentiment about phasing out coal has also shifted in the past few years. In 2017 65% of the survey thought coal power stations should be phased out gradually to help manage the costs of the transition, but the percentage has dropped to 52% in 2019. The percentage of people believing the shift from coal to clean energy needs to be accelerated, even if the transition costs more in the short term, has increased from 19% in 2017 to 26% in 2019.

There has also been an increase in the percentage of people in the survey arguing that Australia should completely end coal-fired power generation within the next 10 years. In 2017 30% of the survey agreed, and in 2019 39% agreed.

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