Poll: Four In Five Australians Want Affordable And Reliable Energy Ahead Of Net Zero

Written by:
13 June 2024
Poll: Four In Five Australians Want Affordable And Reliable Energy Ahead Of Net Zero - Featured image

“As mainstream Australians continue to suffer through a cost-of-living crisis, it is time governments prioritise energy affordability and reliability, rather than continue to force a failing energy transition to expensive and unreliable renewables,” said Daniel Wild, Deputy Executive Director of the Institute of Public Affairs.

Released today, a new poll commissioned by the IPA again reinforces that the vast majority of Australians want politicians to focus on energy reliability and affordability, instead of unachievable emissions reduction targets.

The poll of 1005 Australians undertaken by Dynata on 1-2 June 2024 asked respondents the same questions an IPA poll asked in 2022. When asked, “What should be the main focus of the federal government’s energy policy?”:

  • 57 per cent responded with ‘affordability’, compared with 41 per cent in 2022
  • 24 per cent responded ‘reliability’, compared with 31 per cent in 2022
  • 19 per cent responded ‘meeting the net zero emissions by 2050 target’, compared with 28 per cent in 2022

“When compared to responses from the 2022 results, support for making affordability and reliability the priority of Australia’s energy policy has increased from 72 per cent to 81 per cent,” said Mr Wild.

“That 81 per cent of Australians think the focus of the nation’s energy policy should be affordability or reliability demonstrates that Peter Dutton’s instincts are correct regarding the relatively low priority Australians place on unrealistic emissions reduction targets.”

The poll also found more Australians are willing to pay less for net zero than in 2022, when asked: “How much would you personally be willing to pay each year for Australia to reduce its emissions to zero by 2050?”

  • 48 per cent responded with nothing, up from 42 per cent in 2022
  • 29 per cent responded with $50 per year. Compared with 30 per cent in 2022
  • 18 per cent responded with $100 per year, compared with 20 per cent in 2022
  • Only 3 per cent responded with $500 per year, compared with 5 per cent in 2022
  • Only 2 per cent responded with more than $500 per year, down from 3 per cent in 2022

“That almost half of Australians are unwilling to pay a dollar and 95 per cent are unwilling to pay in excess of $100 to reach net zero, demonstrates how shallow the support for the policy of net zero emissions by 2050 actually is,” said Mr Wild.

The majority of Australians still want to end Australia’s commitment to net zero, when asked if “Australia should pause its commitment to the policy of net zero emissions by 2050 until we have enough energy supplies to avoid blackouts. To what extent do you agree with this statement?”

  • 54 per cent agreed, compared with 61 per cent in 2022
  • 20 per cent disagreed, compared with 17 per cent in 2022
  • 26 per cent responded with neither, compared with 22 per cent in 2022

“The announcement that the Coalition would abandon Australia’s unachievable 2030 renewables and emissions target should they win government means Australians will finally have debate on the failing energy transition and net zero,” said Mr Wild.

“The only way to lower power bills, and to secure our energy grid, is with affordable and reliable energy generation. Canberra needs to put mainstream Australians first, and abandon its reckless net zero commitments, and push to get more coal and gas generation into the market.”

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