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Australian business leaders are confident that Australian governments are making progress on climate policies but want more on climate action; finds the inaugural ‘Sustainable Future Poll’ from Confident Strategy Group and YouGov.

– 6 out of 10 Australian leaders were confident that Australia was making meaningful progress on each of the nine levers of climate change/resilience surveyed.- 7 in 10 senior business leaders of medium to large companies believe that the federal and state governments should do more in sustainability and climate action.- In a deep dive, we found agreement across the political divide that solar should be increased as an energy source. While 7 in 10 believe coal as a source should be reduced or kept at the current level.

Canberra, Australia, Nov. 07, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — This week, government and climate experts are meeting at the United Nations Conference of Parties, COP27, in Egypt. At COP27, governments will report their progress and make agreements to take further action to achieve the Paris Agreement’s outcomes (2015). Confident Strategy Group and YouGov polled over 500 Australian business leaders to determine their confidence level in the Australian Federal and State Government’s sustainability policies. The poll assessed business leaders’ confidence across nine levers of climate change while also considering Australia’s unique environment and biodiversity impacts. This year the poll also did a deep dive into business leaders’ attitudes towards energy sources suitable for Australia.

In this inaugural poll, we also found the following:

  • Confidence was at its highest amongst younger business leaders (only 16% of leaders 50+ years are very confident). However, only half were confident that Australia was progressing on ‘Building sustainable future food systems that prevent food insecurity.’
  • Confidence was at its highest amongst those who voted Labor and Green at the most recent election (76%, 69% versus 51% for the Coalition).
  • Business leaders 50+ years were less confident across all sustainability policy areas, with only 4 to 5 out of 10 leaders confident in each area. Reflecting older business leaders’ lower overall confidence in sustainability policies, fewer than two in ten said they were very confident in addressing each area.
  • Business leaders identifying as female tended to be less confident overall regarding policy progress across all areas (women 49% v men 69%).
  • Those in the asset-based industries (i.e. manufacturing, construction, utilities) are much more likely to be confident (79%) compared to those in service (i.e. retail, transport, health, education) 46% or knowledge-based industries (professional, financial, ITC services) 63%. Those in manufacturing are particularly confident (88%).
  • 2 in 10 Australian business leaders were not confident deforestation was being addressed.
  • While 8 in 10 business leaders believe solar as a source of energy should be increased, 7 in 10 also believe hydroelectricity and wind should be increased, and 4 in 10 believe natural gas and nuclear should be increased.
  • Business leaders are split in their opinion on whether the responsibility for setting climate policies should reside with the Federal Government (45%) or be shared equally with the States (46%).

This year’s poll results may reveal a “green bucket” effect as there was little differentiation in confidence levels across all of the policy lever areas. Albeit there are some clear differences by age, headcount, industry and political affiliation, there is still uniformity that reinforces this finding. This may mean more specific education is required regarding what actions are needed to achieve sustainability and mitigate climate impacts in Australia. It may also indicate that transparency on current and future policy performance and measures is required.

Confident Strategy Group will continue to track this critical policy area annually. Dr Jeanette Fielding, Group CEO of Confident Strategy Group, said, “Australia’s ability to transform at pace to meet the sustainability and climate challenges is vital to Australia’s future success and the economic welfare of all Australians. While many stakeholders have a role in addressing climate impacts, governments set the roadmap for the country through policies they deliver and the ones they don’t.” She further highlighted, “This year’s Sustainable Future Confidence Poll indicates optimism exists after the most recent Federal election, and we look forward to continuing to track business leaders’ confidence in the years ahead”.

The full report is available here: Sustainable Future Confidence Poll

About the poll

The poll was conducted online between 8-16 September 2022. The sample comprised 510 senior business leaders in Australia from organisations with 50+ employees. Confident Strategy Group set the policy levers to be explored, and YouGov designed the questionnaire. After the interviews, the data was weighted by age to reflect the latest ABS population estimates for managers and professionals.

About the Policy Levers

The policy levers were chosen based on Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports that identify levers of climate change and consider Australia’s unique environment and biodiversity. The poll confidence is highest in Waste Reduction (69%), Building green/renewable energy systems for the future, and Taking the initiative to address sustainability/climate resilience through innovation/research and development (68%). Others include Protecting Australia’s unique wildlife and ocean life, Building sustainable future food systems that prevent food insecurity (both 66%), Building green infrastructure for transportation (65%), Building a regenerative and sustainable agriculture system (64%), Mitigating climate impacts (64%), and Addressing the cause of deforestation in Australia (62%).

Confident Strategy Group

Confident Strategy Group is the confident confidants of change-making leaders. We help you resolve the world’s biggest challenges to transform the planet, society, and humanity for the better. This is our passion. Let us put it into practice for you. CSG clients are passionate about health, food, consumer goods, sustainability and women’s peace and security. We are experts in the following practice areas: strategic policy, ESG/sustainability, strategic communications and advocacy. Confident Strategy Group is based in Canberra, Australia and New York, USA and serves national and global clients worldwide. Contact us at www.confidentstrategygroup.com.

Media Relations Contacts:

Dr Jeanette Fielding, Founder and Group CEO at Confident Strategy Group.

contactconfident@confidentstrategygroup.com

Jeanette Fielding
Confident Strategy Group
contactconfident@confidentstrategygroup.com

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