The City of Edmonton has released the results of a poll conducted earlier this year which finds people living in Alberta’s capital are growing increasingly concerned about climate change and the importance of acting swiftly on the issue.
“This past August, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stated strongly that ‘it is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land,’” Chandra Tomaras, the city’s director of environment and climate resilience,” said in a news release on Monday.
“The survey result demonstrates that this message connects with Edmontonians and that they realize we all have a role to play in preventing and mitigating climate change.”
The survey is now in its fifth year. The latest poll found 75 per cent of respondents agree that climate change is a concern, up one percentage point from the city’s previous climate change survey.
Seventy-seven per cent of respondents said they agreed “we need to act now to address climate change,” up two percentage points from the previous poll.
Seventy-four per cent of respondents said they agree climate change is caused mostly by human activity, up three percentage points from the last survey.
“While individual level of concern about climate change has remained relatively constant over the last five years, agreement that Edmontonians at large are concerned and taking action on climate change has markedly increased,” the city’s summary of the survey reads.
More Edmontonians said they want the city to either increase (47 per cent, up four percentage points from the last survey) or maintain (23 per cent) its efforts to address climate change. Twenty-two per cent of respondents said they were unsure of how much the city should do about climate change while eight per cent said they wanted to see the city decrease its efforts to address the issue.
Seventy per cent of respondents said they agree investing in energy efficiency and transitioning to renewable energy sources provides job opportunities for Edmonton. Sixty-six per cent agree that efforts to prevent climate change present economic opportunities for Edmonton.
“Overall, the survey results are generally consistent with those observed in 2020 with respect to climate change perceptions, although certain improved trends are evident,” the summary reads. “For example, small gains have been made in the agreement on the association between climate change and the occurrence of natural disasters, and there
has been a gradual but sustained increase over the past three years in the proportion agreeing that their individual actions have an impact on climate change.
“Another noteworthy survey finding is that in many instances younger Edmontonians as well as women tend to be more concerned about climate change and want
to see more action, as compared to their older and male counterparts.
“At the same time, there seems to be downward movement on selected measures. For example, there is a gradual decline in awareness of charging stations for electric vehicles.”
The survey was conducted by Narrative Research in May and saw 1,005 adults living in Edmonton take part.
“As this is a general population non-probability panel survey, to report a margin of error is inappropriate,” the city said. “If this were a probability sample, the overall margin of error would be +/- 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, based on this sample size.
“Since 2017, the Climate and Energy Perceptions Survey has helped the City of Edmonton benchmark attitudes and beliefs on climate and energy transition in order to inform and measure the effectiveness of policies and programs.”
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