COVID-19 puts Canadians at the fulcrum of environment and economy

The University of Ottawa’s Positive Energy program uses the convening power of the university to bring together academic researchers and senior decision-makers from industry, government, Indigenous communities, local communities and environmental organizations to determine how to strengthen public confidence in energy decision-making.

Mockup of report.

The survey

New survey results  (PDF, 1MB) from Positive Energy and Nanos Research look at how and why Canadian attitudes towards acting on climate change have shifted as a result of COVID-19.

The survey also offers updates on several questions that Nanos and Positive Energy have tracked since 2015, including Canadians’ views on oil and gas development, renewable energy, federal leadership on climate change, and perceived trade-offs between the environment and the economy.

The survey was an RDD dual frame (land- and cell-lines) hybrid telephone and online random survey of 1,049 Canadians, 18 years of age or older, between June 28th and July 2nd, 2020 as part of a Nanos omnibus survey.

The analysis

Canadians were asked on a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 means absolutely the worst time and 10 absolutely the best time, how good a time is it for Canada to be ambitious in addressing climate change even if there are costs to the economy. They were also asked to specify why they believe so. A plurality of Canadians believe that now is a good time to be ambitious. However, opinion on the issue appears somewhat polarized, with one in three Canadians answering either 0 or 10. Responses are broken out by region, age, and gender.

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