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Do Australians care more about climate change or their finances?

Michele Levine

Australians are deeply concerned with the environment, although according to a new report, they see it as primarily a problem for other nations to tackle. 

In a new report released by Roy Morgan, 46 per cent of Australians mentioned environmental concerns as the biggest issue facing the world. However, when it came to acting upon it, only 24 per cent believed it’s Australia’s primary concern.

What’s top of mind for Australians?

Domestically, Australians are more concerned with issues affecting their day-to-day existence. Issues of the economy, such as the rising cost of living, unemployment concerns and the gap between the rich and poor, top the list.


Environmental issues, including global warming, water conservation including the Murray-Darling, rank second to the economy with 24 per cent of respondents concerned. 

Roy Morgan’s chief executive officer, Michele Levine, stated: “The environment played a large role in the recent federal election although not in the way some may have imagined, with the fight of the Adani coalmine in central Queensland ultimately proving a winner for the Coalition.”

Eleven per cent of Australians believe that social concerns, including education issues, crime, welfare and family breakdowns, are the top issues facing the nation.

Government politics, religion, immigration, human rights and the energy crisis round out the major issues that keep Australians awake at night. 

The rest of the world 

When considering the wider world, Australian investors believe the environment and global warming are the two biggest issues, coming in at 46 and 34 per cent, respectively.

Nearly half of Australian respondents mentioned an environmental issue (46 per cent) when asked to nominate the most important problem facing the world, more than double the second-placed economic issues (21 per cent),” said Ms Levine.

The economic issues mentioned include the rising inequity between the haves and the have-nots, the rise of the cost of living, trade wars and over-population issues. 

Other themes the world needs to react to include social issues relating to crime, law and order, drugs, education, moral decline and family breakdown.

Terrorism/war and security problems rounded out the top concerns. 

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Do Australians care more about climate change or their finances?
Michele Levine
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