VANCOUVER — British Columbians overwhelmingly prefer the government to focus on developing renewable energy (64.0%) over LNG (18.2%), according to a new public opinion survey conducted by Stratcom for Clean Energy Canada. What’s more, clean energy has consistently been the preference of British Columbians for at least the past three years.
Accordingly, more British Columbians (44.2%) would oppose LNG expansion if it causes B.C. to miss its climate targets than would support it in such a case (36.5%). Among NDP and undecided voters, opposition is even higher.
Even more unpopular is the province providing financial subsidies to fossil fuel companies to encourage more LNG exports, with nearly half disagreeing with this idea (47.5%) compared to 30.5% who would support fossil fuel subsidies. As with the previous question, NDP and undecided voters are more likely to oppose subsidizing LNG.
Recognizing that B.C. will only have so much electricity available, nearly one-quarter (23.2%) of British Columbians ranked money-saving heat pumps and electric vehicles as the number one priority use for B.C.’s electricity. This is followed by “existing businesses and industries electrifying their buildings, operations and vehicles to reduce their carbon footprint and energy costs” and “producing clean hydrogen.”
Meanwhile, all six ideas provided for how the provincial government could build a more sustainable economy found a majority saying that they are very or somewhat important to British Columbians. Of those six ideas, respondents ranked training the province’s workforce, investing in new renewable electricity generation and transmission, and bringing new investments to B.C. as the top three most important initiatives.
Looking back, nearly half (45.5%) think that the previous John Horgan government should have done more to help prevent climate change, while a mere 8% think that it should have done less.
As for the new premier, British Columbians may be more hopeful this time around: more than a quarter (27.2%) think that David Eby’s government will do a “good” or “very good job” to help prevent climate change, compared to 31.4% who think it will do “only a fair job” and just 12.4% who think it will do a “poor job.”
The survey was conducted by Stratcom with 802 BC adult residents from February 10th – February 15th, 2023. A random sample of panelists were invited to complete the survey from a selection of panels and river sources. A sample of 802 BC residents (18+) statistically weighted to match the gender, age, region and proportion of Chinese mother tongue in BC as per the 2021 Census. The data has also been weighted to match the 2020 BC provincial election results. Online polls don’t report margin of error, however a similar sized probability sample would have a margin of error of +/- 3.4%, 19 times out of 20.