Ottawa – Ahead of the federal budget, a new Abacus Data poll shows a majority of Canadians believe the federal government should follow the example set by the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act and scale up climate investments.
Conducted March 17-21, the poll confirms a majority of Canadians (58%) support investing 2% of Canada’s GDP in climate action. Data by economic consulting firm Vivic Research shows these climate investments would generate over 225,000 jobs in Canada by 2028. Over 25 Canadian organizations are urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to invest 2% of Canada’s GDP in climate action, including in an inter-provincial electricity grid, job training programs, retrofitting homes and businesses and more.
The poll also found a strong majority (83%) of Canadians feel it’s important that Canada should take inspiration from the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act and increase investments in clean industry, and develop clean industrial policies. That a majority feel it’s very important or somewhat important is seen across parties – NDP voters (97%), Liberal voters (93%), Bloc Québécois voters (82%) and Conservative voters (66%). This majority support spans across the country, with 74% in Alberta feeling this is important.
The poll also showed when it comes to public financial support, Canadians want to see a more level playing field for renewable energy, compared to the oil and gas sector. Between 2018-2020, the oil and gas sector received 14.5 times more public financial support than renewables. Yet, the poll found a majority of Canadians (86%) want to see the federal government match or provide more financial support to the renewable sector than the oil and gas sector.
On a majority of Canadians supporting investing 2% of Canada’s GDP on climate action:
“This poll highlights that from coast to coast to coast, Canadians want the federal government to scale up climate investments. We’ll be watching the federal budget closely to see if Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister Freeland deliver what Canadians want – a down payment of 2% of Canada’s GDP to respond to the multiple crises we’re facing and to create a thriving, safe, affordable future for all people in Canada,” says Caroline Brouillette, Acting Executive Director of Climate Action Network – Réseau action climat Canada (CAN-Rac).
On a majority of Canadians supporting increasing clean industry investments and developing clean industry policies:
“Canadians are clearly ready for a clean economy. They want this reflected in the government’s spending priorities. We need the government to develop a green industrial policy that reorganizes the economy to support clean industry and ensure good paying jobs for now and into the future,” says Jamie Kirkpatrick, Senior Program Manager, Blue Green Canada.
On support for a more level playing field for renewables:
“Budget 2023 is a critical opportunity for the federal government to finally deliver on the promise made to Canadians over a decade ago to stop funding fossil fuels. Poll after poll confirms that people in Canada overwhelmingly support eliminating funding to the fossil fuel industry and instead investing in proven and reliable solutions like renewable energy. Yet the federal government continues to cave to oil and gas executives’ lobbying for subsidies. Last year, the government gave over $20 billion in financial support to oil and gas companies. It’s long past time for the federal government to listen to people across the country and end its reckless transfer of public money to the very companies fuelling the climate crisis,” says Julia Levin, Associate Director, National Climate, Environmental Defence Canada.
Commissioned by Climate Action Network – Réseau action climat (CAN-Rac) Canada, the Abacus Data poll was conducted with 1,963 Canadians aged 18 and over, from March 17 to 21, 2023. The margin of error for a comparable probability-based random sample of the same size is +/-2.21%, 19 times out of 20.
View the poll results here.
Canada’s farthest-reaching network of organizations working on climate and energy issues, Climate Action Network – Réseau action climat (CAN-Rac) Canada is a coalition of 150 organizations operating from coast to coast to coast. Our membership brings environmental groups together with trade unions, First Nations, social justice, development, health and youth organizations, faith groups and local, grassroots initiatives.
For more information or to arrange an interview, contact:
Vicky Coo, Communications Lead firstname.lastname@example.org, 613-203-3272