Research shows only one in eight Aussies gets ‘net zero’

Scrabble tiles spell Net Zero on blue and green background
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Australians say they want to embrace the net zero transition, but there are still large knowledge gaps making them reluctant to participate.

Related article: Renewables make up almost 40% of Australia’s electricity

Research undertaken by nature.com.au and commissioned by energy retailer and renewables generator ENGIE has found:

  • More than half of Australians surveyed claimed to have a good understanding of environmental sustainability, but only 1 in 8 could correctly describe what the ‘net zero’ target by 2050 actually meant.
  • Only 1 in 4 Australians are confident the nation will reach its net zero target by 2050.
  • 43% of respondents said they were not willing to have some form of renewable energy infrastructure such as wind turbines, large scale batteries and transmission lines in their local community.
  • Less than 1 in 5 respondents believed Australia wasn’t lagging behind the rest of the world in the adoption of renewable technologies.
  • Australians believe governments and corporations should shoulder more environmental responsibility rather than leaving it up to individuals.
  • Almost three-quarters of Australians believe businesses aren’t as environmentally sustainable as they say they are.
  • 1 in 5 Australians are willing to pay 5% extra for a green energy retail plan.

ENGIE retail innovation general manager Ryan Wavish said, “Climate change and renewable energy remains a divisive issue among Australians, with less than half of survey respondents feeling the nation is ready to embrace renewable energy.

“Breaking down the barriers for green product adoption comes down to better education, but also incentivising behaviour, for example, through energy savings and linking it to net zero goals.

“Customers have told us they want to play their part in the energy transition, but there are still large knowledge gaps which make them reluctant to participate.

“Retailers need to develop trust with consumers through credibility, simplicity and addressing the premium price of green products.

“Expecting customers to change their behaviours hasn’t worked and is causing angst and confusion. Seamless and light-touch technology holds a lot of the answers.

“Technology can help customers find a place in the energy transition, but it won’t work without trust and engagement.”

Related article: Modelling shows the fastest route to net zero for Australia

To help ENGIE’s customers better understand the transition to net zero and to have a deeper link to a strong sustainability led retailer, ENGIE is retiring its Simply Energy brand and will start to retail as ENGIE later this month, to better reflect its efforts to decarbonise under the global brand.

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