Australian news, and some related international items

In Australia, women and the young about climate changeare most concerned

Climate change survey shows Australians want action on emissions, but are divided on nuclear, ABC 10 Sep 19 The majority of Australians blame increasing energy costs on “excessive profit margins” of energy companies, and 64 per cent think we should be aiming for net-zero emissions by 2050.

But we’re still divided on how to get there, with solar energy topping the list of preferred energy sources and nuclear power continuing to polarise opinion.

These are some of the findings from The Australia Institute’s annual Climate of the Nation report, which shows Australians are becoming increasingly unhappy over a range of climate and energy issues.

Of the 1,960 people surveyed, general concern about climate change was highest among 18 to 34-year-olds, with more than 81 per cent of respondents saying climate change worried them, compared to 67 per cent of those aged 55 and over.

The overall acceptance by Australians that climate change is happening is on par with 2016 — the equal highest rate since the surveys began in 2007.

However, attitudes to climate change are divided along gender lines, with women more likely than men to think climate change is happening. Nearly 80 per cent of women said they are either “very concerned” or “fairly concerned” about climate change, versus 70 per cent of men.

Fears were dominated by issues of food security, species extinction, water shortages, heatwaves and melting of the polar ice caps.

And the majority of Australians want the Federal Government to do more to meet the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, according to report co-author Richie Merzian.

“The majority of Australians reckon that Australia is not doing enough, is not doing its fair share, and needs to bring more to the table,” he said.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is hosting countries for the 2019 Climate Action Summit this month.

The aim of the meeting is to “boost ambition and accelerate actions to implement the Paris Agreement on Climate Change”.

But while there is growing consensus that climate change is happening, there is still division about the best way to tackle it.

Solar power topped the list for the preferred energy going forward, and wind and hydro also featured prominently.

And while 22 per cent of people put nuclear in their top three preferred options, more than a third of respondents ranked it last, behind coal, gas and geothermal………

A majority of respondents said they would be willing to use less electricity during high demand periods if they were paid to do so.

And a majority disagreed with the sentiment that Australia should not act on climate change until major emitters like the US and China did.

Although Australia’s local emissions contribute around 1.4 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, it’s estimated that we are the third highest exporter of carbon dioxide in fossil fuel, according to Merzian.

“More and more people are adding the pieces together and seeing Australia for the role it really has as a major contributor to the climate crisis,” he said.

“Therefore it should be playing a major role in reducing global emissions.”…….


September 10, 2019 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics

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