Australian attitudes towards climate change: putting words into action.

The Climate Institute’s Climate of the Nation has released a report that shows that the attitudes of Australians has shifted from 5 years ago and that climate change is a primary concern. What is curious is that the Rudd government hasn’t convinced us that real and effective action will be possible..

"Australian attitudes towards climate change have crystallised into solid support for action, new research shows. But, equally, there is widespread scepticism about the ability of major political parties to deliver the necessary action. The Climate Institute’s Climate of the Nation report details the attitudes of Australians since the November federal election.

"In the aftermath of the world’s first climate change election, public concern and hunger for action remains high," the institute’s chief executive John Connor said.

"The majority of Australians (52 per cent) are unable to discern between the two major parties on climate change, meaning political brand ownership of climate leadership remains up for grabs." (Read more)

Meanwhile, federal environment minister Peter Garrett has decided against a national levy on plastic bags, despite Victoria introducing a levy, and South Australia banning plastic bags from 2009

"What we’ve decided today is that there will not be a national mandated charge on plastic bags in checkouts but we do want to see increased action to reduce plastic bag use in the community," Mr Garrett said.

"We’ve identified the need for an urgent working group to be established between government and industry to look at making sure retailers are exploring all the options that they have in front of them to increase the use of the green recycle bags and to lessen the use of plastic bags."

South Australian Environment Minister Gail Gago said she was "deeply disappointed" there had not been national agreement to phase out plastic bags or introduce a charge, but her state would push ahead with a ban regardless.

"After six years of the council, we’re still unable to come to a nationally consistent approach," Ms Gago said. (Read more)

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