| ||Canada needs to do more on
issues related to sustainability, energy and climate change,
according to the results of a groundbreaking survey of more than
5,000 experts and government officials.|
The 2010 Global Thought Leader Survey on Sustainability,
released last week in advance of the G8/G20 meetings, was conducted
by McAllister Opinion Research on behalf of the Pembina
Overall, 59 per cent of respondents work for various government
sectors, making this one of the most significant barometers of what
government officials think about progress and solutions on climate
change and "greening" the economy.
"This survey provides insight into the challenges and opportunities
facing Canada on energy and the environment, and highlights the
fact that Canada is slipping behind in its ability to compete in
the emerging clean energy economy," says Marlo Raynolds, Executive
Director of the Pembina Institute.
Key findings from the survey include:
- More than three in four (77%) Canadian thought leaders rate
Canada's efforts at addressing climate change as poor or very poor,
while 75 per cent say the same about Canada's performance at
developing a greener economy. Two in three (68%) rate
Canada's efforts to expand renewable energy as poor or very
- Increased energy efficiency is ranked as having the highest
potential to achieve a sustainable future in Canada (60%). But just
17 per cent of respondents say the same of nuclear power, and seven
per cent see highest potential in coal with carbon capture and
sequestration (CCS) - two of the federal government's top
environmental spending priorities.
- Respondents named federal leadership as the most important
factor (68%) affecting the implementation of sustainable energy
- When asked to rate the solutions with the highest potential to
address climate change, a majority of Canadian thought leaders
first point to energy efficiency (62%), followed by renewable
- On the effectiveness of a carbon tax versus cap-and-trade in
addressing greenhouse gas emissions, two in three (67%) thought
leaders across all regions recommend implementing a carbon tax
either alone (27%) or with cap-and-trade (40%). Very few (5%) point
to cap-and-trade as a top choice on its own.
- Cutting subsidies to fossil fuel-based energy is the policy
option with the highest potential (58%) to help Canada achieve a
green economy, according to Canadian thought leaders.
"These results clearly illustrate that leaders within
government, academia and the private sector understand the energy
and sustainability challenges Canada faces, and have a high level
of agreement on how best to tackle them," says Raynolds. "What
Canada still lacks is the political commitment to take sufficient
Thought leaders from government, academia, industry,
institutions and non-profit organizations completed the survey,
which featured a core set of sustainability-related questions plus
four specialized sections: climate change, sustainable energy,
green economics and oil sands.
This is one of the largest recent surveys of the Canadian
bureaucracy on sustainable energy and climate change.
Download: The 2010 Global Thought Leader Survey on
Sustainability (summary report)