Australia has double the amount of climate sceptics than average, survey finds

A new survey has revealed that Australia has twice the number of climate deniers than average.

The Digital News Report: Australia 2020 was conducted in January and February of this year by the University of Canberra and it surveyed 2,131 Australians and their habits as news consumers.

australia climate change deniers
Photo via Australian Traveller

A recent survey has found that 8% of people in Australia believe that climate change isn’t a serious issue – more than double the global average.

Whilst the survey focused on numerous aspects of news consumptions, one of the bleakest findings was in regards to climate change.

The report found that concern for climate change varies depending on factors like age, gender, education, place of residence, political orientation and the type of news engaged with. Overall, young people are more concerned about climate issues than older people, women are more concerned than men, and people who live in metropolitan areas are more concerned than those who live in regional parts.

In terms of statistics, 58% of people consider climate change to be a serious issue, 21% consider it somewhat serious, 10% think that it’s not very serious, and 8% believe it’s not serious at all. Compared to the 40 other countries that participated in the survey, only two countries had a higher percentage of climate deniers than Australia’s 8% – the US reported 12% and Sweden reported 9%. The global average was 3%.

Even the percentage of people who do believe that climate change is a serious issue (58%) is down from the global average of 69%.

Percentage of climate deniers across 40 countries. Source: Digital News Report: Australia

The survey also found there was a correlation between the news outlets that people engage with and their level of concern. Respondents who listened to commercial AM radio or watched Sky or Fox News were more likely to be unconcerned by climate change – a figure which reflects the sceptical stance often presented by those outlets. On the other hand, readers who engaged with The Conversation and The Guardian Australia were the most concerned about climate change.