A strong majority of Canadians polled in July feel personally concerned about climate change and its effects on the planet.
Figures from Halifax-based Narrative Research suggest 83 per cent of Canadians are personally concerned about climate change, while 16 per cent are not.
To better understand the impact of climate change, we asked Canadians how concerned they are personally about climate change. Results indicate that
- Concern about air quality is higher among residents living in provinces that have experienced recent forest fires.
- Most residents think their local government is unprepared to handle changing climate and its impact on the community.
- One in five residents (21%) have no air conditioning in their home to help escape recent heat waves.
August 3, 2023
Concern is highest among women and among residents who have personally been impacted by poor air quality. In the Atlantic region, residents of Nova Scotia are more likely to be extremely concerned compared to their regional counterparts.
Similarly, nearly nine in ten (88%) Canadians are personally concerned about air quality given the risk of forest fires across the country. Concern is highest in provinces that have experienced sizable recent fires (notably, British Columbia/the North, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia), and is also elevated among women compared to men. In total, more than two-thirds (68%) of Canadians report having personally experienced problems in air quality because of recent forest fires across the country.
Across the country, most residents (81%) link the increasing frequency and intensity of heat waves and forest fires to climate change. Not surprisingly, Canadians who have personally experienced problems in air quality with recent forest fires are more likely to make the link.
Given the increased prominence of climate impacts this summer (be it increased fires, floods or excessive heat), we asked Canadians how prepared they feel their local government is to handle a changing climate and its impact on the community. Nationwide, most feel their local government is unprepared, while only three in ten (29%) are confident that their local government is prepared to handle climate change and its impact on the community. Regionally, Quebec residents are notably more likely to say their local government is unprepared.
Most Canadians appear to have some type of reprieve from the recent heat in their home, with half (52%) reporting to have central air conditioning, and three in ten (31%) having room air conditioning. One in five Canadians currently live without any type of air conditioning (21%), with BC residents most-likely to go without.
Results are from an online survey conducted in partnership between Narrative Research and the Logit Group. The survey was conducted between July 11thand July 13th with 1,230 Canadians, 18 years of age or older from the Logit Group’s Canadian Omnibus. Data were weighted based on the 2016 Census by gender, age, and region t