According to a new poll, Canadians strongly believe the country needs a climate and energy strategy that will help Canada transition to a low-carbon economy. An integrated approach to climate change and energy is strongly supported by Canadians, with 87 percent of those surveyed agreeing, “The nation needs a Canadian climate and energy strategy to plan its energy future.”
“Canadians recognize that we face the challenge of addressing climate disruption, but have the opportunity to do so by embracing clean, low-carbon energy,” says Merran Smith, director of Clean Energy Canada at Tides Canada. “An energy strategy that fails to explicitly integrate climate change will simply entrench business as usual, which will make Canada less competitive in the long run.”
Clean Energy Canada at Tides Canada commissioned Harris-Decima to poll Canadians to inform discussions at the Council of the Federation meeting of provincial premiers, which begins tomorrow in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. The premiers are expected to discuss progress on developing a Canadian energy strategy, which was initiated following last summer’s meeting.
In July 2012 the Premiers’ communiqué made encouraging reference to developing an energy strategy with “a more integrated approach to climate change, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and managing the transition to a lower carbon economy.” The poll found that 62 percent of respondents agreed that, “A Canadian energy strategy will only be successful if it transitions Canada to a low-carbon economy.”
Canadians were also asked to indicate to what degree they would prioritize a series of objectives for a potential Canadian energy strategy. They identified as a “top” or “high” priority “improving energy efficiency” (80 percent), “creating more jobs in clean energy” (73 percent), “reducing Canada’s carbon pollution to slow down climate change” (67 percent), and “reducing our reliance on fossil fuels like oil, gas and coal” (61 percent).
In contrast, only 31 percent of those surveyed placed a “top” or “high” priority on “exporting more of Canada’s oil and gas resources.”
“Canadians are witnessing changes in energy markets and policies around the world,” says Dan Woynillowicz, Clean Energy Canada’s policy director. “Countries are transitioning to low-carbon clean energy and more efficient energy use, and Canadians see the economic opportunity this represents. Understandably, Canadians support a climate and energy strategy as a necessary vehicle to get us in the game.”
The Harris-Decima teleVox poll surveyed 1,000 Canadians on behalf of Clean Energy Canada at Tides Canada by telephone between July 4th and 8th 2013, and the survey reflects a margin of error of +/- 3.1%.