Canadians Prefer to See Maritime Shipping Embrace Zero-Emissions Fuels Than LNG

Last week, we released a new poll commissioned by Oceans North that found broad support for Canada to invest in zero-emission ports, marine vessels, and trade routes, with more than 3 in 4 Canadians reporting high concern about climate change. The sample size was 1,750 adult Canadians and the survey was conducted from May 25 to 29, 2023.

Today we are releasing the final part of the survey, which finds Canadians are far more likely to think maritime shipping should move entirely to a zero-emission fuel like hydrogen rather than use liquified natural gas to power ships.

In the survey, we told respondents:

Right now, there is a debate about whether the shipping industry should use liquefied natural gas (LNG) to power ships, which could partially reduce but not eliminate emissions, or whether the sector should transition entirely to zero-emission fuels.

And asked, “which of the following approaches do you think is best?”

Overall, 61% of Canadians preferred a move entirely to zero-emission fuel like hydrogen while 39% preferred using LNG to power ships.

Regionally, support for zero-emission fuels was higher in Quebec (69%), Ontario (63%), and Atlantic Canada (61%). Alberta was the only province where more people preferred LNG over a zero-emission fuel.

Those under 30 were much more likely to prefer a zero-emission fuel than LNG (71% to 29%) while older Canadians were slightly more divided, although a majority still preferred a zero-emission fuel.

There is a strong relationship between concern for climate change and preferred approach to marine shipping fuel. Those who are more intensely concerned about climate change are more likely to prefer a zero-emission fuel over LNG.

Politically, clear majorities of Liberal and NDP supporters prefer a zero-emission fuel while a majority of Conservative supporters prefer LNG.


As concern about climate change intensifies, and I suspect it will as extreme weather, wildfires, and drought increase in both frequency and intensity, support for a quicker energy transition will increase.

How we fuel maritime shipping is a case in point. In this survey, more Canadians want the sector to transition entirely to a zero-emission fuel rather than using liquified natural gas. There is a strong relationship between one’s concern about climate change and their response this question.


The survey, commissioned by Oceans North, was conducted online with 1,750 Canadians aged 18 and over from May 25 to 29, 2023. 

A random sample of panelists were invited to complete the survey from a set of partner panels based on the Lucid exchange platform. These partners are typically double opt-in survey panels, blended to manage out potential skews in the data from a single source.

The margin of error for a comparable probability-based random sample of the same size is +/- 2.2%, 19 times out of 20.

The data were weighted according to census data to ensure that the sample matched Canada’s population according to age, gender, educational attainment, and region. Totals may not add up to 100 due to rounding.


Oceans North is a charitable organization that supports marine conservation and climate action in partnership with Indigenous and coastal communities. As part of a holistic strategy to protect the ocean, Oceans North is working to decarbonize maritime emissions that are contributing to climate change and adversely impacting communities and the environment. For more information, contact Alex Tesar at or visit


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