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Transcript
Australians’ views on climate change policy
and processes
Dr Fiona Cameron, Senior Research Fellow
Centre for Cultural Research
University of Western Sydney
Dr Ben Dibley, Research Officer
Dr Anne Newstead, Research Officer
A Climate for Change
Federal Parliamentary briefing, 21 March 2011
Hot Science, Global Citizens: quantitative and qualitative
research
Cultural research used to shed light on the complex dispositions and practices
that ordinary Australians hold in regards to climate change, decision-making ,
the larger scale systemic transformations required to intervene in climate
change and the roles of museums and science centres
Research: Online demographic survey across Australia (sample 1507), focus
group research and media analysis (November 2008 and December 2009)
Interest: 62% of Australians are interested in climate change but 59% did not feel that they
were informed. 11.6% classified themselves as doubters
Attitudes: 63% of Australians expressed concern, 33% frustration; 26% anxiety; 26%
unsure
Influence: 92% felt they had little influence in decision-making over climate change
initiatives,
Concerns: 81%, the impact of climate change on future generations; 56% the reduction in
biodiversity; 56% environmental damage to remote communities
Environmental or economic impact: 75% viewed the environmental impacts of climate
change as a greater concern than economic impacts
Sources of information on climate change and confidence
(Australia and the US)
Most trusted: science organisations (70%) and cultural institutions: museums and
science centres (55%)
Least trusted: 88% corporations; 66% government; 57% commercial media
80
69.6
70
Confident or very confident
66.1
% of sample
Little confidence or not at all confident
60
56.3
55.4
52.1
50
46.2
46.4
43.3
44.9
44.5
43.2
43.9
43.0
42.4
39.0
38.1
40
36.5
34.4
33.8
31.1
27.7
27.5
27.3
30
27.4
25.2
22.4
18.9
20
19.1
18.1
16.3
16.1
17.8
16.8
16.4
15.2
15.0
12.5
10
9.3
8.2
0
Australia
USA
10.6
Who is responsible to mitigate climate change and effectiveness?
Responsibility is largely attached to governments, transnational organisations and
corporations
but they
were
also seen
the of
least
How responsible
and
effective
is as
each
theeffective
following for reducing
Most responsible: 79%, Federal government with 88% wanting government to take a lead
global Green House Gas emissions? (Australia)
in decision-making.
60
50.6
49.9
50
Very responsible
Not at all responsible
Very effective
43.0
Not at all effective
38.8
40
% sample
33.9
30
27.6
25.5
24.1
21.2
21.0
20
13.7
12.2
12.2
9.8
10
2.7
2.7
7.8 8.4
2.3
11.5
9.5
11.0
9.5
10.6
10.4
8.5
6.0
1.7
2.2
2.4
2.8
9.1
10.4
7.6
4.6
12.4
7.0
6.6
3.1
3.1
0
International
corporations
TransNon
National
State
Local
national
government governments governments governments
organisations organisations
(eg UN)
Small
business
Community
groups
Families
Individuals
citizens
priorities
and decision
–making
A Policy
numberinitiatives,
of initiatives are
being debated
in Australia
as ways to
The Australian publics’ policy priorities differed from the Federal Government in energy
address
climate change. What is the relative importance of these issues?
strategy, markets and technology, education, equity and social justice issues
For which initiative(s) is it important for citizens’ views be included in
theCitizens
decision-making
process?to include their views and priorities in decisions on policy
require government
Important or very important
100.0
90.0
80.0
% of sample
70.0
60.0
87.6
74.2
87.0
75.6
65.5
Citizens views important or very important
79.577.6
77.7
71.0
68.5
87.3
77.8
77.6
67.9
63.3
57.756.6
80.7
81.6
71.1
65.9
60.6
56.7
50.0
37.4
40.0
30.0
20.0
10.0
0.0
Building new Phasing out
Protecting
Protecting
Developing Developing
power stations power stations ecosystems
people and carbon trading technologies
that use wind that use coal and planting property from
schemes
or solar
to generate
more trees
heat stress,
energy to
electricity
storms,
generate
cyclones and
electricity
sea level rise
Promoting Using nuclear Education on
reduced
power
climate
consumption
change issues
of goods and
energy
Protecting low
income people
from the rising
costs of food,
water and
energy
Working
Promoting
towards
new products
international and energy
agreements to sources that
reduce global
promote
greenhouse
sustainable
gas emissions
living
Conclusions
Complex and contradictory positions are evident
•
People feel under-informed; require education; voice clear policy
preferences; distrust government and media; are confused by competing
information; and feel they are not being listened to
•
People understand that important decisions and wider systemic changes
must be made; acknowledge climate change as complex involving competing
agendas and require complex information from less partisan sources; see
their agency operating at grassroots to change collective habitual behavior;
and see policy as a mechanism for defining the contours of life and want a
greater stake in it.
Museums and science centres as interfaces in debates and decision-making
•
by providing information about climate change as a complex scientific,
cultural,
economic and social issue;
• by offering a range of views and inputs on generic policy scenarios
• as sites of congregation, for debates, deliberations and cross-sectoral
conversations about future lifestyle options