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3-in-5 Canadians attribute climate change and global warming to human activity: survey

Three out of every five Canadians hold the belief that humans are responsible for climate change and global warming, according to a recent survey conducted by Research Co.

According to the survey, there has been a nine-point decrease in the percentage of Canadians who attribute global warming to human activities compared to Research Co. data from last year.

In the online survey, 27 per cent of Canadians expressed the belief that global warming is a reality primarily driven by natural changes. Conversely, eight per cent of respondents indicated that they consider climate change to be a theory that has not yet been proven.

“More than four-in-five Canadians who voted for the Liberal Party (82 per cent) or the New Democratic Party (NDP) (81 per cent) in the 2021 federal election say climate change is mostly caused by emissions,” Research Co. president Mario Canseco said in a press release.

“Only 47 per cent of Conservative Party voters feel the same way.”

Breaking down the data by region, 63 per cent of people in Atlantic Canada and Quebec and 61 per cent of people in Ontario believe that global warming is human made.

However, in British Columbia, where signs of global warming have become increasingly evident, especially after enduring the worst wildfire season in the province's history, a lower percentage of people (58 per cent) believe that global warming is primarily caused by human activities. Meanwhile, in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, over half (55 per cent) of residents share this belief, and in Alberta, 52 per cent of the population thinks likewise.

According to the survey, 63 per cent of Canadians described climate change as a "major crisis." This perception is notably stronger among Canadians aged 55 and older, with 71 per cent holding this view.

In Quebec, 74 per cent of the population regards climate change as a major crisis.

 When it comes to addressing the issues related to climate change that are impacting people right now, two-thirds of Canadians think that both governments (68 per cent) and companies and corporations (68 per cent) should be more actively involved.

However, a notably smaller percentage (58 per cent) believe that individuals and consumers should take on a greater role in addressing these challenges.

When people were asked about actions that can be taken now to curb the impact of climate change, two-thirds of Canadians want companies and corporations (68 per cent) and governments (67 per cent) to take more substantial action. A smaller portion (60 per cent) believe that individuals and consumers also bear responsibility for addressing these issues.

More than three-in-five parents (61 per cent) report that they have increased their recycling efforts after conversations with their children motivated them to do so. However, fewer parents have adopted other environmentally friendly behaviors, such as taking shorter showers (36 per cent) or reducing their driving habits (35 per cent).



Results are based on an online study conducted from July 22 to July 24, 2023, among 1,000 adults in Canada. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.1 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.


Reporting for this story was paid for through The Afghan Journalists in Residence Project funded by Meta. Top Stories

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