Promoting Excellence in Adaptation: Public Risk Perceptions, Understandings and Responses to Climate Change in Australia and Great Britain
Does the public accept and understand that contemporary climate change is the result of human activity? A survey undertaken as part of an NCCARF Adaptation Research Grants Program project suggests the answer is a resounding “yes”. This factsheet provides a summary of key findings from a project conducted in Australia and Great Britain to assess public understandings of, and responses to, climate change. The project documented public risk perceptions, understandings and responses to climate change and natural disaster through surveys of almost 3100 Australian and just over 1800 British residents in 2010. There was a remarkable similarity in public concern regarding the threat and perceived impacts of climate change in the answers of Australian and British respondents, with levels of concern ranked as very high in both nations. One of the most notable findings from this project was that fewer than 6% of Australians surveyed could be called true "climate change sceptics". According to the project’s research team, these results suggest that public opinion on climate change has been greatly misrepresented in the media. Further information on this project can be found in the interim report, final report and a later follow up study.
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