We know from previous polling that people are reluctant to pay the increased energy prices that will be required under the ETS.
In March this year, just under a third of people indicated that they were willing to pay more. But another question on how many are actually paying more came up with a much lower result – 5%. Talk is cheap, greenpower is expensive.
The question about willingness to pay has been asked four times: in 1999, 2002, 2005, and 2008. In the first three surveys willingness to pay was stable on around a quarter of respondents. So the third recorded in 2008 is a clear change.
Yet given the saturation media coverage of climate change issues – I set myself an even bigger task than I realised in going through the results of a daily Google news search for my monitoring of alarmist, denialist and NIMBY stories – it is a clear but small change. There is a major gap between what is required to reduce carbon emissions and what Australians are prepared to do themselves to achieve that reduction.