OTTAWA, Nov. 18 /CNW/ - With just over a week before the next major
round of UN climate negotiations in Cancun, Mexico, results of an
Environics Research poll suggest that the Canadian public has far
different priorities than the government when it comes to climate
Over 80 percent of Canadians agree that too much focus on economic
growth and consumerism is a root cause of climate change. They also
affirm that industrialized countries - which have historically produced
the most greenhouse gas emissions - bear the most responsibility for
"The results indicate Canadians understand that the climate crisis
requires a change in economic, social, and environmental priorities. If
Canadians were deciding our climate policy we would be following a very
different path," says Andrea Harden-Donahue, Energy and Climate Justice
Campaigner, Council of Canadians.
The poll also indicates that over 70 percent of Canadians support
redirecting of military spending toward efforts that reduce greenhouse
gas emissions, as well as the idea of a World Climate and Justice
Tribunal to judge and penalize countries and corporations whose actions
have contributed climate change. Over 80 percent of Canadians believe
the Canadian government should invest in "green jobs" and transition
programmes for workers and communities negatively affected by a shift
off of fossil fuels.
"These polling results indicate willingness on the part of Canadians for
significant change in how we understand and respond to the climate
crisis that is in keeping with the main themes discussed at a massive
climate conference held last April in Bolivia," adds Rick Arnold,
Coordinator for Common Frontiers.
More than 35,000 people attended the World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother
Earth in Cochabamba, Bolivia, including delegates from the seven organizations and unions that
commissioned the polling. The questions used in the Environics poll
were adapted from those agreed to by participants at the World People's
Conference. "The Cochabamba conference was about affirming the need for
an alternative paradigm that promotes harmony with nature," says
Clayton Thomas Muller of the Indigenous Environmental Network.
"In sharp contrast to the polling results, the Canadian government
continues to justify its inaction on climate change by asserting its
need to be in lock-step with Washington," says Donald Lafleur, 4th
National Vice-President of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers. Bill
C-311, the Climate Change Accountability Act, which passed the House of
Commons last May, was defeated in the Senate two days ago.
The Canadian Government supports the Copenhagen Accord which is not
legally binding and does not include mandatory emissions reduction
targets. "Even if all the countries that have supported this so-called
Accord fulfilled their 'voluntary' targets, global temperatures would
still rise by nearly 4 degrees Celsius above their pre-industrial
levels. This spells disaster for much of the world," adds John Dillon,
spokesperson for KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives.
The results are a clear sign that Canadians need to be consulted
concerning this government's climate policy. "The Harper government
should do what's right, and undertake a national consultation on its
climate policy," says Raul Burbano from Toronto Bolivia Solidarity.
The poll was commissioned by the Council of Canadians, KAIROS: Canadian
Ecumenical Justice Initiatives, Canadian Union of Postal Workers,
Indigenous Environmental Network, Common Frontiers, Public Service
Alliance of Canada and Toronto Bolivia Solidarity.
Climate Change Poll Highlights
Media backgrounder is available on request
The telephone poll of 1,000 Canadians conducted October 27 to November 1
2010 has a margin of error of +/- 3.10%, 19 times out of 20.
87% of Canadians strongly or somewhat agreed with the statement: "The
root cause of climate change is too much focus on economic growth and
consumerism. We need to have an economy that is in harmony with
nature, which recognizes and respects the planet."
85% of Canadians strongly or somewhat agreed with the statement:
"Industrialized countries which have historically produced the most
greenhouse gas emissions, should be the most responsible for reducing
83% of Canadians strongly or somewhat agreed with the statement that:
"The Canadian government should invest in green jobs and have
transition programmes for workers and communities negatively affected
by a shift away from reliance on fossil fuels."
77% of Canadians strongly or somewhat agreed with the statement: "There
should be a World Climate and Justice Tribunal to judge and penalize
countries and corporations whose actions have contributed climate
change and damaged the environment."
71% of Canadians strongly or somewhat agreed with the statement: "The
money spent on wars and the military would all be better spent on
efforts that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the impacts of climate
SOURCE Council of Canadians
For further information: For further information:
Dylan Penner, Media Officer, Council of Canadians, 613-795-8685, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rick Arnold, Coordinator, Common Frontiers, 905-352-2430, email@example.com
Adiat Junaid, Communications Program Coordinator, KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives, (416) 463 5312, ext. 223, firstname.lastname@example.org