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Australians' support for climate action slides: poll

CANBERRA, June 27 — New research on Monday showed Australians' support for taking action on climate change is falling steeply.

The Lowy Institute poll asked about 1,000 people for their opinions on a range of topics, including climate change and the war in Afghanistan.

It showed 75 percent of Australians believe the federal government has done a poor job addressing climate change.

Just 41 percent think the issue is a serious and pressing problem, down five points from last year and 27 points since 2006.

Australians are also much less willing to pay a price to tackle climate change, with 39 percent not prepared to pay anything extra.

According to Lowy Institute director Michael Wesley, the poll found most people who are against action on climate change also feel most strongly that the government has not done a good job in addressing it.

"The fact that the Government hasn't acted decisively, it's been on-again off-again with the emission trading scheme (ETS) and then the carbon tax, I think it's a belief that the Government is wavering on this," he told ABC News on Monday.

"There is not much political will to do anything serious about it, and it's also tied to a belief … (that) perhaps this isn't such a serious issue and doesn't need to be acted on immediately."

But he said younger people are more likely to support taking action.

"Generally we've found that people in the older demographic are less willing to spend extra money on tackling climate change," he said.

"The younger the demographic, the more support there is for paying something more to tackle climate change."

The poll also suggested nearly three-quarters of the population are concerned about asylum seekers coming to Australia by boat, and a majority of people oppose Australia's involvement in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, Greens deputy leader Christine Milne said the party is confident public support will swing behind climate action once the final carbon pricing scheme details are released.

Senator Milne said the problem with the poll was that people were not told about household compensation, which is expected to be delivered through tax cuts and pension rises. (PNA/Xinhua)


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