Canadian and American Public Opinion and Climate Change: How Wide a Gap?

- 16:41 - CÉPÉA - Note d'analyse

Policy analysis No31

Summary: This note presents results from polls conducted in Canada and the United States on issues pertaining to climate change. In Canada, we are using data from the most recent National Survey of Canadian Public Opinion on Climate Change (NSCPOCC). For the United States, the data were generated by the National Survey on Energy and the Environment (NSEE). Conducted in September of 2015, these polls submitted a set of identical questions to representative samples of the population in each of the two countries. The data suggest that strong majorities of Canadians and Americans believe that global warming is real. They also show, however, that knowledge of issues pertaining to climate change tends to be limited, and that a substantial part of the public in both countries does not adhere to the scientific consensus on the human origins of climate change. We also note that inasmuch as transition toward renewable or low-carbon energy sources would involve costs, the public in both countries exhibits a limited willingness to bear these costs.

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