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NEWS: Climate poll shows Harper out of step with Canadians

The CBC reports today that, “A majority of Canadians believe that consumerism and a push for economic growth are factors responsible for climate change, suggests a poll released Thursday. The survey, conducted by Environics Research for seven advocacy organizations and unions, found that 80 per cent of those questioned feel the climate is being negatively influenced by economic and social priorities.”

We also anticipate Sun Media and IPS news reports in the coming hours.

The Council of Canadians, KAIROS, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, the Indigenous Environmental Network, Common Frontiers, the Public Service Alliance of Canada, and Toronto Bolivia Solidarity issued a media release today which states, “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 change.”

The poll shows that:

87% agree that, “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% agree that, “Industrialized countries which have historically produced the most greenhouse gas emissions, should be the most responsible for reducing current emissions.”

83% agree 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% agree that, “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% agree that, “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 change.”

Energy and climate justice campaigner Andrea Harden-Donahue states, “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.”

Within hours of the poll being released, we were contacted by Environment Canada asking for more information about it. Clearly, with environment minister John Baird going to the climate summit in Cancun with Conservative senators having just killed C-311 and the government having no climate plan (other than to keep supporting the tar sands!), they must know they are vulnerable on this issue. We have also received word that the poll was to be raised during Question Period today.

Our media release can be read at http://canadians.org/media/energy/2010/18-Nov-10.html. The CBC report is at http://www.cbc.ca/consumer/story/2010/11/18/climate-change-poll-consumerism.html#ixzz15emtLX2o. The Digital Journal report is at http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/300403.