A view of English Bay and Downtown Vancouver, British Columbia from one of the Spanish Bank - Jester7777, released into Public Domain

3/4 of British Columbians Ready to Shift from Fossil Fuels, Poll Finds

(Editor’s note: This follows on a plebiscite in which 58% of Kitimat’s residents said they do not want their community tured into an oil terminal for the Northern Gateway pipeline. Locals say the “No” vote would have been even higher if residents of the nearby Haisla reserve, who regard Kitimat as part of their ancestral territory, had been allowed to vote.)

From the Pembina Institute

VANCOUVER — New polling research reveals that British Columbians want the province to produce, use and export fewer fossil fuels and embrace cleaner sources of energy instead.

The poll found more than three quarters of British Columbians (78%) agree that B.C. should transition away from using fossil fuels to cleaner sources of energy to prevent climate change from getting worse. More than two thirds (67%) agree the province should decrease its reliance on fossil fuel exports to avoid future boom and bust economic cycles.

Another three quarters (74%) agree that the province has a good opportunity to create jobs and grow the economy by developing the solutions needed to transition away from fossil fuels.

“As climate science continues to demonstrate, climate change could have devastating impacts on both the environment and the economy,” said Kevin Sauve, spokesperson for the Pembina Institute in B.C. “It’s encouraging to see that British Columbians are on the same page. Not only do they understand the need to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels but see economic benefits in developing cleaner sources of energy as well.”

“British Columbia is largely sitting on the sidelines of a global clean energy bonanza,” said Merran Smith, Director of Clean Energy Canada. “Citizens know that the world’s energy system is changing. The provincial government needs to strengthen the province’s clean energy economy through targeted policy today.”

“This poll sends a clear message that British Columbians want steps put in place now to transition this province towards a prosperous low-carbon future,” said Tom Pedersen, Executive Director of the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS). “It is encouraging to see such strong support for change across all levels of society, but especially among tomorrow’s leaders — 18-34 year olds.”

The Pembina Institute, Clean Energy Canada and PICS commissioned Strategic Communications Inc. to conduct this poll. The results are from an online survey that was fielded April 1st to April 2nd 2014, conducted among 802 adult British Columbia residents using an established proprietary research panel. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of British Columbia. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

For the complete results of the polling analysis, see: http://www.pembina.org/pub/2539

(Image at top of page: A view of English Bay and Downtown Vancouver, British Columbia from one of the Spanish Bank – Jester7777, released into Public Domain )

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