Poll: Most Albertans want stronger climate change policiesSurvey shows public support for climate action and a stronger price on carbon

Sept. 30, 2015

Provincial crest of Alberta
Photo: Roberta Franchuk, Pembina Institute

EDMONTON — New public opinion research shows that 53 per cent of Albertans want the province to adopt stronger policies to cut carbon emissions. This result comes from a survey of more than 1,800 Albertans conducted by EKOS Research Associates and commissioned by the Pembina Institute.

Half of Albertans (50 per cent) also support the introduction of a carbon tax that applies to all polluters, including both individuals and companies. Support for this kind of carbon price is 10 to 20 percentage points higher when the revenue is directed to specific sources, such as infrastructure projects or technologies that reduce carbon emissions.

Quick facts

  • A majority (56 per cent) of Albertans think the province has an obligation to cut emissions to address climate change, with only 26 per cent disagreeing.
  • A large majority of respondents (70 per cent) support investing in renewable energy sources to reduce the province’s reliance on coal-fired electricity.
  • Most Albertans (53 per cent) want the province to adopt stronger climate change policies, even if that means oilsands companies must pay higher costs to produce oil.
  • Two-thirds of Albertans (66 per cent) think the government should prioritize diversifying the province’s economy over helping the oil and gas industry be more competitive (29 per cent).
  • Roughly half of respondents (48 per cent) think that the oilsands industry is currently large enough, or that its size should be reduced.

Poll details

A total of 1,855 residents of Alberta aged 18 or older were surveyed from August 28 through September 10 by EKOS Research Associates. They were surveyed using a combination of live-caller telephone interviews — including both landlines and cell phones — and an online probability panel.

The margin of error for the full sample is ±2.3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The data have been statistically weighted by age, gender, region and educational attainment to ensure the sample’s composition reflects that of the actual population of Alberta according to 2011 Census data.


“It’s encouraging to see such strong support among Albertans for action on climate change. This poll shows that the public is open to many of the solutions being considered, such as an economy-wide price on carbon pollution, or phasing out coal power and replacing it with renewables.”
— Simon Dyer, Alberta Regional Director, Pembina Institute

“This has been a year in which Albertans defy stereotypes, with this poll being one more example. There is a large constituency in Alberta that wants to see the province be an environmental leader on issues like climate change and the development of the oilsands.”
— Frank Graves, President, EKOS Research Associates


Visit the Pembina Institute’s website to download a copy of the full report.


For more information about environmental and climate policy in Alberta:

Simon Dyer
Regional Director, Alberta
Pembina Institute

For more information about the polling results and methodology:

Bernard Rudny (English / français)
Communications Director
Pembina Institute

Frank Graves
EKOS Research Associates
613-235-7215 x105


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