The economy may be on the slow road to recovery and remains an important issue to North Americans, but one thing is clear after a recent online survey, the environment remains as important a priority to Canadians and Americans as it was prior to the recession.
The study, by French public opinion polling firm Ifop, showed nine out of 10 consumers see environmental sustainability as being just as important as before the recession and that 19 per cent believe that it is now even more important.
Perhaps expectedly, the survey of 1,600 Canadians and 1,600 Americans showed that only 21 per cent of Canadians believe corporations are on the right track toward environmental sustainability, and lag in efforts behind citizens and not-for-profit organizations. Ninety-three per cent believe that business leaders should not put financial goals ahead of sustainability programs.
The top seven environmental priorities for Canadians are: renewable/alternative energy sources; minimizing pollution; reducing and recycling; preserving habitat for wildlife; minimizing consumption of non-renewable resources; development of technologies to safeguard the environment; and growing, manufacturing and selling local products.
Studies like this should send a clear message to to our lawmakers that this is no time to let the environment languish on the backburner of a government’s priorities. There was little mention of the environment in the last federal and provincial budgets, and this should be alarming to Canadians and Nova Scotians. Yes, the economy needs to recover, but this economy needs to be a Green economy.
The federal Opposition would do well to make the environment the next ballot question, not sordid controversies or Afghan detainees.