Tax fossil fuels and turn to renewable energy to fight climate change, majority of Canadians say: poll

A majority of Canadians (55%) favour imposing new taxes on fossil fuels such as gasoline, heating oil, and natural gas to reduce greenhouse gases and overwhelmingly endorse the growth of the renewable energy sector in Canada(93%), according to a new poll.

The support for a tax is strongest in BC (62%), females (60%) and young Canadians in the 18-29 age group(68%), and weakest among Ontarians(53%) and the 30 to 39 age group, the Nanos Research poll commissioned by University of Ottawa Positive Energy found.

Most Canadians(57%) also believe that protecting the environment should be given priority, even if it causes slower economic growth and some loss of jobs.

A majority think it is either possible (55%) or somewhat possible (36%) to develop energy resources while protecting the environment.

Canadians haven’t written off fossil fuels entirely, with 77% believing it would be possible or somewhat possible for them to be more supportive of the development of fossil fuel energy resources like oil, gas and coal if Canada had a more environmentally proactive climate change policy.

Most Canadians also believe that think the national interest should take precedence over the interests of local residents, Aboriginal peoples and people in their province when considering whether a proposed energy project should go ahead.

A majority (57%), think that national interest should be more important than the views of local residents, while 54% think the national interest is more important than the interest of the views of First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples(36%) and 58% think the national interest is more important than the interests of the views of people in your province.

Canadians overwhelmingly want Ottawa to take leadership in reducing greenhouse gas emissions(78%) over the provinces(14%).

The same holds true for pipeline projects, with Canadians preferring federal government(68%) to take leadership over provincial governments(24%).

Nanos conducted an RDD dual frame (land- and cell-lines) hybrid telephone and online random survey of 1,000 Canadians, 18 years of age or older, between October 15th and 16th, 2015.

The margin of error for a random survey of 1,000 Canadians is ±3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

[Photo Credit: Takver]