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Canadians want to stop climate change but are reluctant to pay for it

Millennials in particular are pushing for climate strategies to save the planet, but an Ipsos poll shows that more than half of Canadians don’t want to spend a penny to achieve those ambitious targets.

An Ipsos poll, conducted exclusively for Global News between Sept. 20 and 23, shows Canadians have vastly different views on what should be done to try to mitigate the impacts of climate change, and 46 per cent do not want to spend any additional money in the form of taxes or higher costs of goods.

Just 22 per cent say they would be willing to pay up to $100 extra per year.

Just eight per cent would be willing to pay between $101 and $200.

The number of those surveyed who said they are unwilling to pay any extra costs rose to 56 per cent among individuals who identified as Conservative voters.

Ipsos also looked at how much all average voters who identify with one of the main parties are willing to pay, and it was voters who identify as Green supporters who were willing to pay the most with an average of $701.

NDP voters on average said they would be willing to pay $375, while Liberal supporters said they would be willing to pay an extra $326.

Bloc Quebecois and Conservative voters had the lowest averages of $254 and $206, respectively.

Those findings come as voters also ranked affordability and the cost of living as slightly ahead of climate change in a listing of their priorities.

Health care took the top spot, with 37 per cent of respondents ranking it as their top concern, followed by the cost of living at 28 per cent and climate change at 26 per cent. The economy more broadly ranked fourth in voter concerns.

Simpson said the feeling among voters that they are already having trouble making ends meet is likely a direct factor in why so many appear unwilling to pay even a little bit more to tackle what they acknowledge is a serious problem.

The other part may be a belief that it should be up to government to use existing public funds to tackle the problem.

He said the data suggests Canadians want to see a more “measured” approach, and that’s reflected in the range of responses to how urgent the issue is.

Twelve per cent of respondents said there was no urgency to do anything about climate change if that action would come at the expense of jobs.

Men and respondents over the age of 55 were the most likely to say so, along with Canadians in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Twenty-three per cent of Conservative voters also said so.

In terms of party breakdown, just 17 per cent of Conservative voters agreed with that statement while 53 per cent of Green voters were all in, 43 per cent of Bloc voters, 41 per cent of NDP supporters, and 34 per cent of Liberal voters.

The majority of Canadians, or 56 per cent, said that although the country needs to tackle climate change, any action needs to be done in balance with the impact on jobs and the economy — and 60 per cent of both Boomers and Tory voters said so, along with 63 per cent of those in Atlantic Canada.

So, what should political leaders do to tackle climate change?

The poll found 47 per cent of respondents said taxing businesses that produce too many carbon emissions should be a priority. -CINEWS

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