Mainstream Australians Support Jobs Over Emissions Cuts

Written by:
15 March 2021
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A new poll of 1,015 Australians commissioned by free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs has found that Australians believe jobs and economic security are more important than reducing carbon emissions.

“This is an emphatic rejection by mainstream Australians of the push by the political class to adopt a net zero emissions target,” said Daniel Wild, Director of Research at the Institute of Public Affairs.

The poll data was collected by marketing research firm Dynata between 19-23 February 2021. It asked Australians to agree or disagree with the statement: “Jobs and economic security are more important than reducing carbon emissions.”

  • 52% agree
  • 27% neither agree nor disagree
  • 21% disagree

“Australians value the dignity of work more than the abstract, distant, and miniscule environmental benefits that are purported to result from lower emissions,” said Mr Wild.

“Australians working in the regions and in industries such as manufacturing and agriculture are being forced to sacrifice their jobs and livelihoods so a small group of inner-city elites can feel a warm glow and enjoy unearned virtue.”

The poll also found that only 25% of respondents from the ACT agreed with the statement, less than half of the rest of the country, illustrating the divide between the political class and mainstream Australians.

“Those promoting a net zero emissions target overwhelming come from Canberra and the inner-suburban areas of Melbourne and Sydney, whose jobs and livelihoods would not be put at risk from emissions reduction policies such as a net zero emissions target.”

“The widespread unemployment which would be the inevitable result of a net zero emissions target will destroy families, communities, and entire regions.”

“A net zero emissions target is an existential threat to the Australian way of life,” said Mr Wild.

Previous IPA research identified that up 653,600 jobs would be put at risk from a net zero emissions target, and that those jobs losses would be concentrated in regional Queensland and in the agriculture, manufacturing, and coal mining industries.

Further IPA research estimated that China emits more carbon in 16 days than Australia does in one year, and that China operates 57 coal fired power stations for each one currently operating in Australia.

Download the poll.

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