Nearly 90% (89%) of Australians support the sunburnt country’s current Renewable Energy Target, according to a WWF-commissioned poll. Australia’s Renewable Energy Target requires 41,000 gigawatt hours of power to come from renewables by 2020.
The current federal government, headed by Prime Minister Tony Abbott, is planning to backtrack on the target, so the new poll is partly aimed at demonstrating to members of the Australian Senate that Australian voters overwhelming support keeping the Renewable Energy Target.
Significantly, the majority of voters (60% in South Australia, 62.4% in Victoria and Tasmania) in the home sates of crossbench senators who hold the deciding votes on changing the Renewable Energy Target, indicated it was “very important” for the government to keep investing in renewable energy.
What’s more, the poll found that 88% of swing voters – those voters considering changing their voting choice from 2013 – think the Renewable Energy Target should be increased, not decreased. Given the poll, and that the recent Victorian State election marked a change in government away from the Abbott government’s right-leaning Liberal Party, the government is under increasing pressure to leave the target as it is.
Australia is also coming under increasing pressure internationally, in the lead up to the important UN climate summit in Paris next year. All EU member states recently agreed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40% from 1990 levels by 2030, and the US and China have also together struck an historic climate agreement to cut emissions.