Survey says: people support renewable energy, but what about our politicians?

Times are changing for renewable energy. Every day, there are new stories of innovation and progress (and we love to share it all on Our Power’s social media). Along with advancements in technology, public opinion is also increasingly in favour of clean energy sources, yet this doesn’t always align with policy on the ground.

This month, the United Kingdom released the Department of Energy and Climate Public Attitudes Tracker, which revealed that that 75% of respondents support the development of renewables, only 4% are opposed, and only 1% are strongly opposed. This comes shortly after the UK government announced that it would cut subsidies for small solar and biomass.

Similarly, Australia’s Climate of the Nation report indicates that the public is ready for renewable energy, yet the nation’s government remains out of step with the desires of its people in terms of climate action and renewable energy development. Most Australians also support solar and wind in their energy mix, while nuclear and coal are the least desirable.

Westmill Solar Park with wind turbines in the background
Image source: Westmill Solar Park AGM – 08” by rtpeat is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The global renewable energy transition is happening and seems unstoppable now, but more work still needs to be done to ensure that public will aligns with political action, including here in Canada.

In April, a national poll revealed that 56% of Canadians believe “A commitment to phase out coal, oil and gas and replace it with renewable energy” was an important consideration for them leading to the Oct 19 Federal election, with only 15% saying that the issue was “Not important.” Further, 72% wanted to see a plan for job creation in the renewable energy sector. Despite public support, all of the scientific evidence pointing to the dire need to invest in renewables, and the economic arguments supporting the shift, renewable energy supports are crumbling and pipelines are still on the table.

It’s not too late for Canada to become a sustainable energy leader, and the October 19 election presents a prime opportunity to choose a government that respects the health of Canada’s environment and the people who live here. Ask your candidates how they plan to take action on climate change and their goals for the renewable energy transition, and share this message with everyone you know.

Header image source:Mildmay Solar” by canadianveggie is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Categories: Energy Policy
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