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November 18, 2010

Climate Poll Backgrounder

Overall, the results of recent Environics polling clearly indicate that the vast majority of Canadians are concerned about the root causes of climate change, and believe that dramatic, systemic change is required to deal with it.

  1. 87% strongly or somewhat agree that industrialized countries, which have historically produced the most greenhouse gas emissions, should be the most responsible for reducing current emissions.  

Support for this broke out along the following party lines:

  • Conservative: 80%  strongly or somewhat agree
  • Green Party: 82%  strongly or somewhat agree
  • Liberal: 86% strongly or somewhat agree
  • NDP: 93% strongly or somewhat agree
  • Bloc Quebecois: 95% strongly or somewhat agree

These results strongly suggest that Canadians recognize a moral responsibility on the part of countries that have historically contributed the most to climate change to take the lead reducing emissions.

  1. 85% strongly or somewhat agree the root cause of climate change is too much focus on economic growth and consumerism. We need to have an economy that is in harmony with nature, which recognizes and respects the planet.

While support for this proposition is highest in Quebec (92%) and the Atlantic provinces (86%), it is also significant in BC (84%) and Ontario (83%) and in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta (78%).

  1. 83% strongly or somewhat agree the Canadian government should invest in green jobs and have transition programmes for workers and communities negatively affected by a shift away from reliance on fossil fuels.

While more Albertans (22%) disagree with this statement than in any other provinces, it is significant that 75% of Albertans do agree on the need to shift away from fossil fuels.

92% of respondents who are unemployed and 85% of those who have full time jobs want to see investments shift to green jobs.

Clearly, there is support among Canadians for a transition away from dependence on fossil fuels to a green energy future will create jobs. 

  1. 77% strongly or somewhat agree there should be a World Climate and Environmental Justice Tribunal to judge and penalize countries and corporations whose actions have contributed to climate change and damaged the environment.

The strongest support for this proposition comes from women, Canadians under 44 and residents of Atlantic Canada and Quebec.

  1. 71% strongly or somewhat agree the money spent on wars and the military would all be better spent on efforts that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the impacts of climate change.

Support for redirecting military spending is lower in Atlantic and Western provinces, and very high in Quebec at 83%.

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