Australians rate climate change as greater threat than terrorism

Xinhua
Australians listed climate change as the single greatest threat to the nation's interest, according to a study released on Wednesday by Lowy Institute.
Xinhua

Australians listed climate change as the single greatest threat to the nation's interest, according to a study released on Wednesday by independent research organization Lowy Institute.

In a study of 2,130 people, almost two-thirds described climate change as a "critical threat," placing it above global terrorism for the first time since 2006 when the poll began.

Climate change was considered a threat by 64 percent of respondents, followed by cyber attacks from another country, international terrorism and nuclear program of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The results were divided between the generations with more than three-quarters of Australians aged from 18 to 44, saying global warming is a "serious and pressing problem," while less than half of those over 45 shared the concern.

Climate change has become a key issue in Australia's upcoming federal election slated for May 18 with both sides of politics committing to emissions reductions.

The current government led by Prime Minister Scott Morrison is pursuing a 26 percent reduction of 2005 emission levels by 2030, while the opposition plans on strengthening that target reduction to 45 percent.

According to the study, 59 percent of respondents said the opposition party would do a better job of managing Australia's response to climate change, although the incumbent government was rated higher on other issues such as national security and economic management. 

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