One in two ns believe climate change is already damaging the Great Barrier Reef and causing more extreme storms, floods and droughts.
But only 18 per cent think the Turnbull government is doing a good job tackling global warming, a new poll has found.
An annual survey by Ipsos, which has probed public opinion on climate change for the past 12 years, shows eight in 10 agree human activity is contributing to climate change – 42 per cent say humans are mainly or entirely responsible while 38 per cent believe climate change is caused partly by humans and partly by natural processes.
Just 3 per cent of respondents think there is no such thing as climate change, a share that has hardly shifted during the past decade. Another 12 per cent believe climate change is caused entirely or mostly by natural processes.
Ipsos researcher Jennifer Brook said public perceptions about climate change in have stabilised in recent years.
“Despite this maturation of belief in climate change, there is still confusion as to the exact causes and frustration around conflicting opinions resulting in confusion on the topic of climate change,” she said.
“It is these details that still seem to be up for debate, and complicate people’s understanding of the causes.”
Energy policy has been a key political theme in 2017, with the Turnbull government unveiling major policies including the National Energy Guarantee and the expansion of Snowy Hydro.
That may have contributed to a rise in the share of ns who think combating climate change is primarily the federal government’s duty. The proportion saying climate action is mainly the federal government’s responsibility was 41 per cent, the equal highest since the question was first asked in 2010.
But only 3 per cent of respondents rated the federal government’s response to climate change as “very good”, with a further 15 per cent rating it as “fairly good.” More than four in 10 rated the federal government’s performance on climate change as poor or very poor.
The share of respondents who felt the international community was doing a good or very good job of tackling climate change rose to 22 per cent, 3 percentage points higher than last year.
Almost half of respondents (47 per cent) agreed climate change is already causing more frequent and extreme storm events, is already causing the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef (47 per cent) and that is already causing more frequent and extreme droughts (47 percent).
A slightly smaller share agreed climate change is already causing more frequent and extreme floods (45 per cent) and more frequent and extreme bushfires (44 per cent).
A clear majority (54 per cent) agreed that climate change poses a serious threat to our way of life over the next 25 years while nearly two thirds agree that climate change poses a serious threat to our way of life over the next 100 years.
Those aged less than 50 are much more likely to think climate change is mostly or entirely caused by human activity than those aged over 50.
ns are sceptical about letting market forces alone determine how much power is generated from renewable sources. Only 27 per cent supported a deregulated, “market only” approach with no national target for the uptake of renewable energy.
Seven in 10 were in favour of the federal government setting a national target for renewable energy use (32 per cent strongly support this) with just 15 per cent opposed.
Only 5 per cent of respondents said business should be mainly responsible for climate change action, the lowest share since 2010.