Media Releases

Australians Won’t Pay For Net Zero

Written by
3 May 2022

“That a significant majority of Australians have again been found willing to pay little or nothing to cut emissions reinforces that support for net zero in the community is shallow and weak,” said Daniel Wild, Director of Research at the Institute of Public Affairs.

A survey conducted by Resolve Strategic for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age released today found some 39% of voters are not willing to pay any personal cost to support action to reduce Australia’s emissions.

A further 41% indicated they were only “prepared to accept a small personal cost” and only 9% indicated they were “prepared to accept a significant personal cost,” said Mr Wild.

“Today’s survey provides further evidence that Australians do not support net zero when the true cost of it is made clear to them, yet both the Coalition and Labor are committed to inflicting significant economic pain on the community.”

The results of the Resolve Strategic survey support a recent survey conducted by the Institute of Public Affairs in March 2022. That survey asked: ‘How much would you personally be willing to pay each year for Australia to reduce its emission to zero by 2050?’

  • Nothing: 42%
  • $50 per year: 30%
  • $100 per year: 20%
  • $500 per year: 5%
  • More than $500 per year: 3%

“This is all about skin in the game. Once net zero moves from an abstract concept to something concrete with a cost attached to it, support quickly plummets with only a miniscule number of Australians willing to incur any meaningful cost.”

“Australians don’t want to pay for net zero because they know it will not lead to any disenable environmental benefit given China’s annual emissions dwarf Australia’s,” said Mr Wild.

Previous IPA research identified that China emits more carbon in 16 days than Australia does in one entire year.

Today’s survey comes on the heels of a landmark research report, released in April by the Institute of Public Affairs, The Economic and Employment Consequences of Net Zero Emissions by 2050 in Australia, which identified;

  • At a minimum, all coal, gas and oil projects in the construction pipeline must be cancelled to achieve net zero by 2050.
  • $274 billion cost to the Australian economy in forgone direct and indirect economic output, which is the equivalent to 13.5% of Australia’s annual GDP.
  • Over 478,000 new jobs cancelled.
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Daniel Wild

Daniel Wild is the Director of Research at the Institute of Public Affairs

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