FOR the past few years climate change and its solutions have been the target of a well-oiled campaign against innovation, efficiency and clean energy investment.
This campaign, waged by climate sceptics and their favoured think tanks and industry groups, has included vitriolic attacks directed at highly-regarded members of the scientific community, vain attempts to debunk well-established climate change science, and highly inaccurate and misleading claims made about possible solutions such as renewable energy.
But according to the Climate Institute 2012 State of the Nation report released on Tuesday, the Australian community is seeing through the bluster of climate sceptics and vested interests as their support for and commitment to a clean energy future remains strong.
The report fi nds that while Australians are exhausted by the politics around climate policy and are somewhat confused on climate change science, their vision of a low-carbon future is crystal clear: they want renewable energy.
Asked to rank their three most preferred and least preferred energy sources, solar, wind and hydro topped the ladder — coal and nuclear are the least preferred.
Australians rightly see renewable energy as playing an important role in the reduction of carbon emissions, job creation, preparing Australia for the impacts of climate change, improving health and the local environment, and in building a sense of national pride.
We know that tens of thousands of jobs have already been created in the renewable energy sector, with $10 billion of investment over the last decade, and that more are on offer as the costs drop and global investment in clean energy outstrips fossil fuel investment.
Lane Crockett, general manager, Australia Pacific Hydro