1370.0 - Measures of Australia's Progress, 2010  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/09/2010   
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Democracy

ENVIRONMENTAL CITIZENSHIP

Environmental citizenship activities include donating time and money to protect the environment, purchasing and using environmentally friendly products, participating in recycling, and taking measures to conserve water and energy.

Some aspects of environmental citizenship, such as household recycling and water conservation, are explored under environment commentaries, therefore this commentary focusses on changes in people's concern about environmental issues, and the type of environmental action that people take (see environmental sections linked below).

Concern

Between 1992 and 2004, the proportion of people concerned about the environment declined from 75% to 57%, but in 2007-08 just over four in five people (82%) reported that they were concerned.

Climate change is considered by many to be one of the biggest challenges facing Australia and may require action from individuals, communities, organisations, industry and governments (ABS 2009b). Nearly three-quarters (73%) of Australian adults were concerned about climate change in 2007-08.

The Australian Capital Territory reported the highest concern about climate change (81%) and the Northern Territory the lowest concern (69%).

Men were less likely to be concerned about climate change than women (25% of men reported a lack of concern compared with 19% of women) in 2007-08. Also older Australians (aged 65 years and over) were the least concerned about climate change, with 30% not concerned about climate change compared to 18% of people aged 35-44 years.

Action

Over 5 million people (34%) aged 15 years and over took some form of environmental action in 2007-08. People most commonly signed a petition (17%) or donated money to help protect the environment (14%), while attending a demonstration for an environmental cause was relatively rare (2%). Some people expressed their concern about the environment through a letter, email or by talking to responsible authorities (10%), or by volunteering, or becoming involved in environmentally related concerns (9%). Two-thirds of Australian adults did not take any environmental action (ABS 2009b).

RELATED PAGES

  • Biodiversity
  • Land
  • Inland waters
  • Oceans and estuaries
  • Atmosphere
  • Waste
  • Democracy governance and citizenship glossary
  • Democracy governance and citizenship references
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