EDMONTON—A new poll asking Albertans how they would like revenue raised by a proposed carbon tax spent indicates that by more than a two-to-one margin, people favour spending it on green energy projects, transit and energy efficiency improvements.
Almost six in ten, or 58% of Albertans, want the carbon revenue directed toward green projects, while just 28% want the money returned to fossil fuel companies so that they can research technology that would allow them to reduce the amount that they pollute. Fifteen percent were undecided.“A majority of residents were in favour of directing the money to energy efficiency improvements or related areas, regardless of which political party they support,” said Paul Seccaspina of Oraclepoll Research.
“Alberta NDP supporters (82%), those likely to vote Liberal (80%) and Alberta Party backers (72%) most want revenues directed toward green projects but even PC (52%) and Wildrose voters (51%) wanted the money spent on energy efficiencies, renewable energy and public transit.”
“The people of Alberta want jobs and they know carbon price investments in low-carbon sectors is one of the best ways to get them,” said Kass Forman of the Alberta Green Economy Network (AGEN). “Reinvesting revenue from the carbon price directly in people and communities can be a tremendous vehicle to diversify our economy, usher in the age of community renewables, and put thousands of Albertans to work to do it.”
Residents over 55 years of age were the most likely to agree to giving the revenue to the oil and gas sector (39%), while Albertans between 18-34 years of age were most inclined to say the funds should be directed to renewable energy or related areas. With the Alberta budget – and how the carbon tax is to be spent – being announced later this week, the timing of the poll is critical.
“It clearly shows that not only are people in this province willing to invest in green jobs, NDP supporters in particular are overwhelmingly in favour of renewable energy, efficiencies and public transit,” said Mike Hudema, Climate and Energy Campaigner with Greenpeace Canada. “A large majority of young adults also see the need to break free of fossil fuels, and that’s incredibly encouraging.”The Oraclepoll was conducted between April 1st and April 6th 2016. A total of 750 people were interviewed for the survey, which has a margin of error of 3.1%, 19 times out of 20.