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article imageCanadians want action on climate change

By Tim Sandle     Dec 1, 2014 in Environment
Ottawa - A survey on Canadians’ views about climate change has shown that the vast majority majority (88 per cent) want Canada to take significant actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
These findings come as Canada's environment minister travels to the United Nations climate change summit, which is due to take place this week. Designed to put some political pressure on the high profile visit, the David Suzuki Foundation has released the survey results.
The survey has been conducted by the Environics Institute for Survey Research. Key headlines from the survey report are that Canadians have a strong concern (78 per cent) about what climate change will mean for their children and future generations. To add to this, other issues relate to scarcity of water and more frequent droughts; an increase with extreme weather events , such as, storms and flooding; and the loss of wildlife.
Commenting on the survey results, Keith Neuman, executive director of the Environics Institute stated: “While climate change has not been a top-of-mind political issue that has attracted much attention in the media or during elections, this survey reminds us that a growing majority of Canadians have concluded that climate change is a serious problem that requires serious government attention.”
In terms of the financial impact, the survey indicated that the majority of the public support for a tax on carbon-based fuels across Canada. Here, for instance, six in 10 British Columbians support their existing carbon tax, and 56 per cent of Canadians elsewhere say they would support a British Columbia type of carbon tax in their own provinces.
A carbon tax is seen as an incentive for governments and companies to pollute less. A carbon tax is a tax levied on the carbon content of fuels. It is a form of carbon pricing. From an economic perspective, carbon taxes are a type of Pigovian tax (a tax applied to a market activity that is generating negative externalities.) They help to address the problem of emitters of greenhouse gases not facing the full (social) costs of their actions.
Environics regards the survey results as extremely important, particularly given what they perceive to be Canada’s standing in the industrialized world. With regard to this, reports published by Climate Action Network Europe and Germanwatch and the Washington-based Center for Global Development have ranked Canada’s climate performance to be at the lowest rung relative to other industrialized countries.
The survey was based on telephone interviews conducted with 2,020 Canadians between October 16 and 19, 2014.
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