The Lowy Institute has released its annual Lowy Poll, which  mostly focuses on various aspects of foreign policy-related public opinion. We’ll go through the broader poll a little later, but first up it’s worth going through the responses to a set of global-warming questions they asked — and in some instances, have asked over several years.

This year’s poll is a phone poll that ran off a sample of 1001, giving us an MoE that maxes out about the 3.1% mark.

The first global warming question asks:

“There is a controversy over what the countries of the world, including Australia, should do about the problem of global warming. I’m going to read you three statements. Please tell me which statement comes closest to your own point of view.”

They’ve asked this question four times in five years, allowing us to see some longer-term trends in the responses:

10531_possum1
The trends here are consistent with what we’ve seen from the Morgan phone poll results over the same period — where the urgency of public opinion on the need for action has waned over the past three years.

The next question asks about public opinion on unilateral climate change action, with some interesting results.

“At this stage there is no global agreement to reduce carbon emissions. Do you personally agree, or disagree that Australia should take action to reduce its carbon emissions before a global agreement is reached?”

10531_possum2

72% of the public believe that Australia should take unilateral action. We know from the first question that only 46% of the public support action that involves significant costs while 40% believe in gradual, low cost action — but what numbers do the public attach to “significant” and “low” costs?

Read the rest of the this post over at our Pollytics blog.

Peter Fray

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