Ninety per cent of people living in rural and regional Australia believe they are already experiencing the impacts of climate change, and forty six per cent believe coal-fired power stations should be phased out, according to a new study.
The Climate Institute recently conducted a poll of 2000 people, and found that there was strong concern across both rural and regional areas about the current impact of climate change. As reported to The Guardian, about three quarters of all respondents, said ignoring climate change would make the situation worse, and about two thirds of those polled believe the federal government should take a leading role.
These figures show that contrary to the mantra of some political parties, climate change is not the niche concern of elitists, but rather something that is being felt widespread across the country. Nicky Ison, the director of the Community Power Agency, which represents 80 grassroots groups, told The Guardian, “I think there’s a misconception that concern is mainly held in the city, and I think there are some strong voices, particularly in rural and regional Australia, that have exaggerated or stoked that misconception.”
The results come as 2016 has been declared the hottest year on record by the world’s major meteorological agencies. NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies said that global sea and land temperatures last year were 0.99 degrees warmer than average for the 1951-1980 benchmark period, eclipsing the previous high set only a year earlier by 0.12 degrees.