Overwhelming Public Support For Australian Renewable Energy Target

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Australian politics has been focused on the future of the country’s Renewable Energy Target for several months now, and it seems that maybe so has the rest of the country. New polling conducted by market research firm Crosby Textor has shown overwhelming support for leaving the Renewable Energy Target (RET) in place.

The national study, conducted throughout the month of August, surveyed approximately 1000 Australians and found that 82% of respondents believe the RET should definitely or probably be kept in place, with only 17% taking the opposing side of the argument.

There was a happy middle ground of 6% who were undecided, representative of those who hadn’t worked up the courage to simply hang up, most likely.

RET polling
Q7) Based on what you have read, seen or heard about the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target, even if it is just a slight leaning or guess, would you say you think Australia should KEEP the target as it is, or should we LOWER the target?
Image Credit: Crosby Textor

The figures were part of a larger 2-part survey, conducted in May and June of 2013, and August of 2014. The figures highlight the changing face of Australian politics over the past 18 months: In 2013, the highest profile issue everyday-Australians were aware of was that of immigration, whereas the environment was only a 3% issue of concern. Flip that around to this August, and immigration has dropped in people’s minds to 18%, while the national conversation on the RET has pushed the issue of the environment up to 13%.

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Unsurprisingly, renewable energy industry leaders and supporters have jumped on these results in the face of the Liberal Government’s attempt to abolish the RET altogether.

Clean Energy Council Acting Chief Executive Kane Thornton was quick to point out the wide spread of political views within the 82% of respondents who want the RET to remain.

“More than 80 per cent of those polled wanted the RET left alone. While there are clearly differing views within the Federal Government in regards to the future of the RET, the Crosby Textor polling commissioned by Pacific Hydro shows 70 per cent of Liberal voters want the target left alone to do its job,” Mr Thornton said.

Andrew Richards, Executive Manager External Affairs for Pacific Hydro, the Australian renewable energy company that commissioned the polling, made it clear what he thought of Tony Abbott’s current policy.

“Despite an unprecedented attack on the renewable energy industry over the last 12 months, it is very clear that Australians have made up their mind,” he said. “They want more renewable energy, not less.”

Continuing, Richards believes that “there is a clear message for our politicians in this. Australians want governments to aim higher and ensure Australia is a world leader on renewable energy.

“They definitely don’t want to go backwards.”

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Joshua S Hill

I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, and I believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I also write for Fantasy Book Review (.co.uk), and can be found writing articles for a variety of other sites. Check me out at about.me for more.

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