The passion for renewables in Australia isn’t waning, but support for coal appears to be – particularly when it comes to new mines. This is a continuing trend among voters of all political leanings.
72-77% of voters recently polled in conservative electorates support Australia becoming a 100% renewable energy powered nation by 2030.
A ReachTEL-conducted survey of thousands of residents across the federal electorates of New England, Page, Warringah and Dickson in December revealed just 14% to 18% opposed a renewables powered Australia.
The polling of these voters also indicated a global moratorium on new coal mines had strong support; at 50 – 57%.
It will come as no surprise that Labor and Greens voters indicated even stronger support.
“Renewable energy is popular across the political spectrum. Part of Tony Abbott’s undoing was that he placed himself at odds with the electorate on this issue,” said Ben Oquist, Executive Director of The Australia Institute said.
“These results show politicians of any hue who undermine support for a 100% renewable future risk an electoral backlash.”
Mr. Oquist also stated construction of new mines in a struggling market is “a recipe for economic disaster.”
“China recently announced a 3 year moratorium on new coal mines. Malcolm Turnbull can and should show the same commitment to deliver on commitments made at the Paris climate meeting in December,” he said.
The chances of a moratorium? Late last year, Federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg claimed there was a “strong moral case” for coal. Also in October, the Federal Government granted Adani re-approval to build the massive and very controversial Carmichael coal mine
Back in 2014, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) issued a wake-up call to investors, stating the global coal industry’s economic models were flawed. IEEFA said major coal projects with a reliance on export markets such as India constituted a huge financial risk.
The Australia Institute is actively campaigning against new coal mines in Australia and says a local moratorium will send the strongest political signal that the reign of coal is over.