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Poll: Australians Prioritise National Defence Over Net Zero

Written by
17 March 2022

New polling data released today by the Institute of Public Affairs has found that a significant majority of Australians believe the federal government should be more focused on national defence than meeting a net zero emissions target by 2050.

“Australia’s commitment to net zero emissions is no longer just an economic concern, mainstream Australians understand it is also a threat to our national defence,” said IPA Director of Research Daniel Wild.

The polling data collected by Dynata, reveals that 61% of Australians agree the federal government should be more focused on national defence rather than meeting Australia’s net zero emissions by 2050 target, while only 39% disagree.

“Just last week UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked for a ‘climate change pass’ so he can secure the United Kingdom’s energy supply after relying on Russia for too long, it is clear Australians want our Prime Minister to show the same leadership,” said Mr Wild.

“The Morrison Government must accept that energy security is national security and abandon its commitment to net zero.”

Asked what the main focus of Australia’s energy policy should be, 72% of Australians believe affordability and reliability should be the focus, while only 28% believe meeting net zero emissions by 2050 should be the focus.

“This shows how out of touch politicians, the media, and big business are from the mainstream of society who are doing it tough in the face of rising cost of living expenses.”

“If there were a referendum held today on whether Australia should adopt net zero it would be defeated. Politicians know this, and it is why they are going to great lengths to avoid debate.”

The poll also asked, ‘How much would you personally be willing to pay each year for Australia to reduce its emissions to zero by 2050?’

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

“Some 92% are only willing to personally pay a maximum of $100 a year – equivalent to just one cup of takeaway coffee a fortnight – for Australia to meet net zero emissions by 2050.”

Research by the Institute of Public Affairs identified that up to 653,600 jobs would be put at risk by a policy if net zero emissions by 2050. The research also found that the job losses would be concentrated in industries such as agriculture, coal mining, and heavy manufacturing.

“As the Asia-Pacific region becomes increasingly uncertain and hostile, Australia must face the fact that energy security is national security. We need a leader who will put Australia and Australian jobs first,” Mr Wild said.

Download the poll.

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Daniel Wild

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

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