A strong majority of Canadians believe the transition to clean energy is more economic opportunity that economic downside.
Last week Clean Energy Canada issued a new report, The Fast Lane, which indicated that the country’s clean energy sector would add significantly more jobs than are expected to be lost in fossil fuels. New Abacus Data-Clean Energy Canada polling reveals that most Canadians see this potential too:
Across the country, 73% say they prefer to see Canada supporting the growth of our renewable energy and clean technology sectors, while 27% prefer to see Canada put more emphasis on extracting the most value possible from our fossil fuels. In Alberta, public opinion is about evenly split on this question, with 47% wanting more emphasis on cleantech and renewables.
73% say “success in developing and using clean energy technologies can create as many new jobs as those which would be lost in oil and gas” while 27% say “the global shift towards clean energy is going to end up doing serious damage to the Canadian economy no matter what we do.” A majority in every region, including Alberta (59%) believes there need not be an economic downside.
71% say “if we are thoughtful in planning a transition from fossil fuels Canada economy can be even more successful in the future,”, including 59% in Alberta, while 29% hold that “no matter how hard we try, Canada’s economy will suffer in the future if demand for oil and gas is replaced by other forms of energy.”
86% believe “Canada has the potential to be among the world’s most successful countries in developing and using clean energy technologies.”
86% believe “the pace of innovation in clean energy and technologies is quick, and Canada must be amongst the leaders in this energy transition.”
68% think “around the world momentum is with those who want action to combat climate change,” while only 32% think momentum is with those “who want to do little or nothing about it.” When it comes to the momentum in Canada, 71% say it is with those who want climate action.
“Canadians are broadly concerned about climate change and sense that momentum in favour of climate action growing around the world, and here in Canada. Most people believe there is upside for Canada in pursuing an energy transition, not only in terms of combating climate change but also in terms of economic risk and opportunity. A very large majority are convinced that the clean energy and technology market is a massive opportunity for Canada and one that must be embraced.”
Bruce Anderson, Chairman, Abacus Data
“What these results show is that Canadians believe there’s a strong future for our clean energy sector. The good news is that we’re well-positioned to capitalize on this opportunity, with a clean energy sector already employing 300,000 Canadians in jobs across the country. Our latest research shows this number will increase to over half-a-million over the next decade if we continue with current climate policies. Going backward wouldn’t just worsen climate change, it would threaten a significant sector that Canadians are counting on to create opportunity as the world transitions from fossil fuels.”
Dan Woynillowicz, Policy Director, Clean Energy Canada
The survey was conducted online using a random sample of 1,929 panelists 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 +/- 2.23%, 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.
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