CLIMATE change sceptics outnumber believers, according to an OECD study that shows how the debate has sharply divided Australians
The study into household attitudes towards the environment shows Australians are more sceptical than any of the other 10 nations examined, with the exception of The Netherlands.
It shows 45 per cent of Australians think environmental dangers are exaggerated and are reluctant to pay for government environmental policies.
In contrast, 42 per cent of Australians believe the environmental challenges are real and think the government should take action, which they are prepared to pay for even if the amount is not matched by other nations.
The OECD study identifies a third group of people who believe that environmental dangers are real, but thinks technological progress will resolve them. This group is about 10 per cent of the Australian population.
In Canada, Sweden and France, more than half the population is motivated by environmental concerns, while less than 40 per cent are sceptical.
The level of doubt about environmental threat increases in Australia with age, but more than 40 per cent of all age groups believe the environmental dangers are over-stated.