More than 10 percent of Australians deny that they will be harmed in their lifetime

“Some 135 countries, responsible for more than three-quarters of global greenhouse gas emissions, have committed to reach net-zero by mid-century. But the world is not yet on track to “keep 1.5 alive” and recent energy price jumps could make it harder to meet temperature targets,” it said.

IMF Deputy Managing Director Bo Li said the report shows that an overwhelming majority of the public recognizes climate change as an imminent threat, but there are gaps in people’s knowledge and support for the most effective emission reduction measures, particularly carbon taxes, give.

“Unfortunately, many people say they are already personally affected by climate change, including in the Asia Pacific region,” Li said. “It underscores the urgency of this challenge.”

The IMF listed cap-and-trade schemes, where companies can earn credit for reducing emissions and money for selling them, as one of the most efficient measures alongside a carbon tax.

The opposition said this week it opposes the federal government’s plan to introduce a cap-and-trade scheme as part of its changes to the protection mechanism, which would force big polluters to reduce their emissions by about 5 percent a year.

The future of politics hangs in the balance. The Senate must approve reform to implement the cap-and-trade system, but the Greens threaten to block it unless the government commits to banning new fossil-fuel projects, which it has so far rejected.

But industry leaders, including major power generators, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Australian Industry Group, have backed the Safeguard reforms, citing the lack of bipartisan support for climate action as a major political risk for big industrial firms.


Ben Skinner, policy manager at the Australian Energy Council, which represents major greenhouse gas emitters including coal-fired power plants, gas works and electricity traders, said the clean energy transition has been undermined by policy for more than a decade.

“The biggest benefit that could come from Canberra in terms of long-term benefit to the industry is bipartisan clarity on carbon positions,” Skinner said.

“It is very worrying to hear that there will be more partisanship over the main carbon position of the major parties. That’s a risk burden that has hung over the industry for the last 14 years and it would be very gratifying to see that ease.”

Break through the noise of federal politics with news, perspective and expert analysis from Jacqueline Maley. Subscribers can sign up for our weekly Inside Politics newsletter here. More than 10 percent of Australians deny that they will be harmed in their lifetime

Callan Tansill

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