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78% of Australians concerned about Global Warming

This special online survey on Australian attitudes to Global Warming was conducted from September 11-15, 2019 with an Australia-wide sample of 1,006 Australians aged 18-64 years old. In addition to undertaking customised surveys Roy Morgan conducts in-depth personal interviews with over 1,000 Australians a week and over 50,000 Australians each year in their homes as part of the Roy Morgan Single Source Survey.
A special online Roy Morgan survey conducted in mid-September finds:

Over three-quarters of Australians, 78%, are concerned about Global Warming – this is up 12% since February 2014 and the highest level of concern for well over a decade since April 2006 (82%) before the Global Financial Crisis.

After the Global Financial Crisis in 2007-08 Australians’ concerns shifted away from the environment to economic issues such as the cost of living, unemployment and the gap between rich and poor.

This is the main finding of a special online survey on Australian attitudes to Global Warming which was conducted from September 11-15, 2019 with an Australia-wide sample of 1,006 Australians aged 18-64 years old. People surveyed were asked their view of Global Warming - “Which of the following is closest to your view about Global Warming? Do you think: Concerns are exaggerated; if we don’t act now it will be too late; it is already too late?”

A record high 28% (up 12% since February 2014) who when asked for their view of Global Warming believe ‘It is already too late,’ while an unchanged 50% say ‘If we don’t act now it will be too late.’ Only 18% (down 12%) now say ‘Concerns are exaggerated’ and 4% can’t say.

Women are more concerned about Global Warming than men

A majority of 55% of women believe ‘If we don’t act now it will be too late’ compared to 45% of men while only 14% of women say ‘Concerns are exaggerated’ compared to nearly a quarter, 23%, of men.

In addition an almost identical 27% of women, and 28% of men, say ‘It is already too late’.

Over a third of young Australians think ‘it is already too late’ to deal with Global Warming

Perhaps unsurprisingly views on Global Warming are heavily age related with over a third, 36%, of 18-24 year olds saying ‘It is already too late’ compared to 32% of 25-34 year olds, and under a quarter of both 35-49 year olds (24%) and 50-64 year olds (23%).

In contrast over a quarter, 27%, of 50-64 year olds say ‘Concerns are exaggerated’ compared to a fifth of 35-49 year olds and only around one-in-ten of those aged 18-34 years old.

Michele Levine, CEO Roy Morgan, says:

“Views on Global Warming have hardened over the last five years and the overall level of concern towards the issue is returning to levels experienced prior to the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) in 2007-08. Now over three-quarters of Australians say of Global Warming that either ‘If we don’t act now it will be too late’ (50%) or ‘It is already too late’ (28%) to deal with the issue.

Roy Morgan’s extensive data on the most important problems facing Australia and the World showed the onset of the GFC shifted concern away from environmental issues and towards more ‘bread and butter’ economic concerns such as the cost of living, unemployment, the gap between rich and poor, interest rates and housing costs.

“This survey marks a distinct move back towards heavy concern about Global Warming and today a record high 28% of Australians now say ‘It is already too late’ to deal with the challenge – up 12% on five years ago.

“The increased concern about the issue comes as the global climate strike held last Friday saw millions of protesters, including hundreds of thousands around Australia, walk off the job and out of school to participate in marches calling on Governments to do more to combat Global Warming and Climate Change.

“There are more protests to come with Extinction Rebellion, a group focused on forcing action to address Global Warming and Climate Change, set to hold their ‘Spring Uprising’ protests throughout Australian cities in the week of October 7-14 to highlight the issue.

“The group has come in for criticism overseas for the more radical nature of their protests and it will be important to see whether this form of protest proves beneficial to those advocating for more action on the issue or counter-productive.”

This special online survey on Australian attitudes to Global Warming was conducted from September 11-15, 2019 with an Australia-wide sample of 1,006 Australians aged 18-64 years old. In addition to undertaking customised surveys Roy Morgan conducts in-depth personal interviews with over 1,000 Australians a week and over 50,000 Australians each year in their homes as part of the Roy Morgan Single Source Survey.

The Roy Morgan Single Source survey collects detailed quantitative and qualitative data including responses to hundreds of attitudinal statements which covers topics of environmental concern such as recycling, eco-tourism and travel, environmentally friendly products and more

Global Warming

Question 1: 

Respondents were asked: “Which of the following is closest to your view about Global Warming?” Do you think: Concerns are exaggerated; if we don’t act now it will be too late; it is already too late?” 

Of Australians (50%, unchanged since February 2014) say ‘If we don’t act now it will be too late’, while a record high 28% (up 12%) say ‘It is already too late.’ In addition a further 18% (down 12% since February 2014 and the lowest since April 2006) say ‘Concerns are exaggerated’ while 4% (unchanged) can’t say.

About
Global Warming

Total all people aged 14+

April

2006

Nov

2008

May

2009

Aug

2009

Nov

2009

Dec

2009

Jan

2010

June

2011

July

2013

Feb
2014

Sep 11-15,
2019*

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Concerns are

 exaggerated

13

19

26

27

30

31

31

32

33

30

18

If we don’t act now

it will be too late

67

64

58

58

52

50

54

50

49

50

50

It is already too late

15

4

12

11

14

14

12

15

14

16

28

Can’t say

5

3

4

4

4

5

3

3

4

4

4

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

*Interviews for the online survey conducted September 11-15, 2019 were with Australians aged 18-64 years of age.

All Australians

Gender

Age

Sep 11-15,
2019

Female

Male

18-24

25-34

35-49

50-64

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Concerns are exaggerated

18

14

23

11

10

20

27

If we don’t act now it will be too late

50

55

45

47

54

53

46

It is already too late

28

27

28

36

32

24

23

Can’t say

4

4

4

6

4

3

4

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

All
Australians

City/Country

States

Sep 11-15,
2019

Capital
Cities

Country
Areas

NSW

VIC

QLD

WA

SA

TAS#

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Concerns are exaggerated

18

17

20

23

15

20

15

16

12

If we don’t act now it will be too late

50

50

50

48

52

47

57

53

40

It is already too late

28

28

27

25

29

30

24

19

43

Can’t say

4

5

3

4

4

3

4

12

5

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

#Sample sizes with fewer than 50 respondents should be treated with caution.

View our range of Environmental Attitudes Profiles.

About Roy Morgan 

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices in each state of Australia, as well as in the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 75 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.  

Margin of Error 

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate

40%-60%

25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%

50,000

±0.4

±0.4

±0.3

±0.2





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