By Graeme MacKay, Editorial Cartoonist, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday December 1, 2015
Canadians back bold climate-change action, poll finds
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau heads to global climate talks in Paris with a new pledge of billions for the cause and a call for a strong international agreement, promising to follow up with a domestic plan with the provinces – and a new poll suggests that is probably in line with what Canadians want.
At the Commonwealth summit in Malta on Thursday, Mr. Trudeau grabbed a little attention by announcing that Canada will put $2.65-billion over five years into climate-change funds for developing countries – a doubling of previous funding. He announced it behind closed doors to fellow leaders with some flourish, according to aides: “I’m here today not just to say Canada’s back but to show it,” they quoted him as saying.
On Saturday, Mr. Trudeau heads to Paris, promising a new level of Canadian ambition in fighting climate change – which he has said will be followed by a deal with provincial premiers, five of whom are joining him in Paris, on the nitty-gritty measures to cut greenhouse-gas emissions.
It’s a dramatic shift, and intended to be. But a new poll suggests it’s not likely to be deeply controversial: Large majorities of Canadians believe climate change is a threat to the country’s economic future.
The Nanos Research Group poll of 1,000 Canadians – conducted for The Globe and Mail and CTV News – found that 73 per cent agree or somewhat agree that “climate change presents a significant threat to our economic future,” while only 16 per cent disagree or somewhat disagree. The telephone survey, conducted between Nov. 21 and 24, carries a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
The poll finds a clear view among Canadians: 72 per cent think the science of climate change is irrefutable, 79 per cent believe Canada’s international reputation has been hurt by its previous efforts, and 63 per cent indicate they would pay more for certain products so Canada could meet its climate commitments.
That suggests Mr. Trudeau has a lot of support to promise action in Paris – where 150 leaders are gathering this weekend as the talks open officially on Monday. (Source: Globe & Mail)