Federal Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson announces funding for climate action at the University of Calgary in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019. The federal government says it is narrowing the gap between the greenhouse gas emissions reductions it is projecting and what it promised to achieve under the Paris Agreement. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Federal Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson announces funding for climate action at the University of Calgary in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019. The federal government says it is narrowing the gap between the greenhouse gas emissions reductions it is projecting and what it promised to achieve under the Paris Agreement. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Federal report says Canadians ‘doubtful’ on hitting emissions targets

A key measure the Liberals have touted in their plan is the federal carbon price

The federal government was told just before the fall election campaign that many Canadians didn’t believe the country will meet targets for reducing its greenhouse-gas emissions.

Public-opinion research conducted on behalf of the Privy Council Office showed that most participants in the spring survey were “doubtful” Canada would reach its targets, with the rest “uncertain, or hopeful but not optimistic.”

Among the reasons people gave for believing Canada would fall short were the cost to the economy to do so, including job losses in sectors like oil and gas, and “political will.”

Under the Paris climate-change agreement, the Trudeau Liberals agreed to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions to a level 30 per cent below what they were in 2005 and to do it by 2030.

The polling report delivered in mid-August and made public in recent days suggested that participants wanted the government to at least try to meet the 2030 target even if efforts were doomed.

Last week, the Liberals said Canada’s emissions are forecast to be 227 million tonnes below what was projected in 2015, which would be 77 million tonnes short of the target Canada committed to under the Paris pact.

During the federal election campaign, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vowed to boost efforts so Canada would exceed its 2030 goal and then achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Among the measures the Liberals proposed was funding the planting of two billion trees, cutting energy waste and supporting zero-emissions clean tech companies — none of which were included in the updated forecasts released on the Friday before Christmas.

A key measure the Liberals have touted in their plan is the federal carbon price. Participants in the survey said they believed that the Liberals’ carbon tax had increased the cost of gas, food and home heating, and will eventually drive up costs for travel, public transit and consumer goods transported over long distances.

The Liberals say the carbon tax is designed to change habits so individuals reduce their own carbon footprints, and the report suggests this is happening to an extent.

Some participants told interviews they have opted to drive more fuel-efficient vehicles, be more strategic in running errands to limit car use, opt for public transit more or work more often from home. Others told interviewers they expect to drive less eventually, while the remainder said “they have no option but to drive as much as they do.”

Any funding collected through the carbon tax is returned through rebates at tax time, but most participants in the research believed they would receive less than what they paid.

That belief didn’t change when interviewers presented them with a parliamentary budget office report saying 80 per cent of tax filers will receive more in rebates than they pay in carbon fees.

READ MORE: Report lumps in Canada with climate change offenders as Madrid conference gets underway

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Salmon Arm RCMP officers responded to two public COVID-19 demonstrations held in Salmon Arm on Saturday, Nov. 28. (File photo)
Organizer of Salmon Arm COVID-19 demonstration fined $2,000 by RCMP

Police said some participants weren’t aware of the public health order prohibiting gatherings

Incidents where local retailers were allegedly subject to ridicule and abuse over mask requirements prompted  a call from Salmon Arm RCMP for respect. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
Police urge respect after Salmon Arm businesses allegedly harassed over mask requirements

Wearing of masks in businesses and public spaces is currently mandated by the province

The Salmon Arm Observer’s annual food drive is underway. For donations of one or two bags of non-perishable items, donors receive a gift certificate from one of several participating local merchants. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
Salmon Arm merchants, Observer team up for food drive

Gift cards and certificates available for donations of non-perishable items

Emergency crews respond to crash just before midnight on Trans-Canada Highway east of Salmon Arm. (File photo)
Two pick-up trucks collide head-on on Trans-Canada Highway near Salmon Arm

Police report drivers survive crash late on Nov. 29, taken to hospital

Okanagan College students Michael Ochoa and Tallin Gregoire, both members of the Okanagan Indian Band, raised the Okanagan Nation Alliance flag on July 16, 2019,  outside the Vernon campus. (Karissa Gall photo)
First Nations reconciliation personified at Okanagan College

President Jim Hamilton’s foresight has opened post-secondary education doors for Okanagan College’s Indigenous students

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest weekend of COVID-19 pandemic with 46 deaths; more than 2,300 cases

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides COVID-19 update

Vehicles drive past a display thanking essential workers in Burnaby, B.C. on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
B.C. changing COVID-19 case reporting as virus spread continues

Manual counting takes more time, leads to errors

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Sunny the cat, who jumped out of the truck at the Revelstoke Landfill earlier this month, was quickly reunited with his owners. (Contributed)
Cat returns home with the help of two landfill workers

Sunny jumped out of the truck at the landfill in November

Christy Jordan-Fenton is the co-author of the book Fatty Legs, which has been mentioned amid the controversy of an Abbotsford school assignment on residential schools.
Fatty Legs co-author responds to Abbotsford class assignment on residential schools

Children’s book mentioned amid controversy at W. A. Fraser Middle School

Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka takes over as energy and mines critic for the B.C. Liberal opposition. Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick (right) moves from health critic to assistant deputy speaker. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals pick critics to take on Horgan’s NDP majority

Interim leader Shirley Bond takes seniors, long-term care

An impaired driver was found responsible for a crash on Highway 97 near Seacrest Hill in Oliver Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020 in Oliver. (Black Press file photo)
Impaired driver rolls vehicle in violent crash near Oliver

Vehicle crashed through a fence, tree and telephone line

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland listens to a question from a reporter on the phone during a news conference in Ottawa, Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Spending too little worse than spending too much, Freeland says as Canada’s deficit tops $381B

‘The risk of providing too little support now outweighs that of providing too much’

Still from a video surveillance camera of a man alleged to have stolen from several people at knife-point in Chilliwack (Rosedale) early on Nov. 28, 2020. (Facebook)
B.C. man defends his family against intruder, saves neighbour while wielding hockey stick

RCMP looking for footage that captures violent crime spree in Chilliwack

Most Read