A gas-led economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is not what the majority of Australians want, a new survey has found.
The 2020 Climate of the Nation report, released on Wednesday, found that two in three Australians would prefer the government choose renewables as the pathway out of recession.
Almost 2000 Australians took part in the annual survey, which has tracked the public’s attitude towards climate change for more than a decade.
Think-tank The Australia Institute has conducted the survey for the past few years after being handed the reins from the Climate Institute when it closed.
The report also found only 12 per cent of Australians sided with the federal government, saying they support Australia’s economic recovery being primarily powered by investment in gas.
“Our research shows that far from dampening the call for climate action, the COVID-19 crisis has strengthen Australians’ resolve for all levels of government to take action on climate change,” Australia Institute director Richie Merzian said in a statement.
“The Australian Government’s call for a ‘gas-fired recovery’ to reignite the economy in the wake of COVID-19 is not backed by popular support,” he wrote in the report’s foreword.
The survey also found eight in ten Australians believe the country is already seeing the impacts of climate change and are concerned it will result in more bushfires.
More than two in three Australians believe Australia should have a national target for net-zero emissions by 2050, including majority support across Coalition voters (59 per cent), Labor voters (81 per cent), Greens voters (90 per cent) and other voters (65 per cent).
Eighty-three per cent of respondents also said they wanted coal-fired power stations to be phased out.
The report will be launched online by NSW Energy and Environment Minister Matt Kean.