On energy and environment, Canadian voters aren’t as divided as you may think

Party leaders often pit the oil and gas industry and the environment against each other, but many Canadians are pragmatic.

New survey data reveals that Canadians are not as divided as our electoral politics suggest. A study was undertaken by Nanos Research and Positive Energy at the University of Ottawa shows a strong agreement among Canadians on a broad range of energy and environmental issues.

Almost eight in 10 Canadians agree (45 percent) or somewhat agree (32 percent) that Canada’s oil and gas sector can play an important long-term role if it operates in an environmentally responsible way. And two- thirds agree (35 percent) or somewhat agree (31 percent) that oil and gas exports can contribute to combating climate change if they displace energy sources in other countries that are more damaging to the climate.

But Canadians are also looking for climate action. While more than half support (29 percent) or somewhat support (26 percent) growth in the oil and gas sectors, six in 10 would be more supportive of fossil-fuel energy if Canada had more proactive climate policies.

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