third approve of carbon pricing in Ontario
Carbon tax slightly preferred to Cap and
30th, 2015 - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by The
Forum Poll™ among 1028 Ontario voters, one half disapprove of Premier Wynne’s proposal
to price carbon in Ontario (48%), while just one third approve (33%). One fifth
have no opinion (20%). Approval is especially common to the youngest (43%), the
wealthiest ($80K to $250K - 40%), in eastern Ontario (41%) and the city of
Toronto (42%), among Liberals (50%), but not among PC supporters (8%) and among
the best educated (post grad - 49%).
Split opinion on need for carbon pricing
presented with the proposition that there is a social and environmental cost to
producing carbon and someone must pay the cost. Exactly equal proportions agree
or disagree with this (41% each) while just fewer than one fifth don’t know
Carbon producers seen to be responsible for cost
Those who agree
there is a cost to carbon also agree (two thirds) that carbon producers must
pay this cost (66%), while few think the government or the consumer is
responsible (5% each). One fifth think more than one of these is responsible
for the costs of carbon production (21%).
Carbon tax slightly preferred to Cap and Trade
the two most common methods of carbon pricing explained, one third of voters
opt for a direct carbon tax (33%), while a quarter prefer the less direct Cap
and Trade method (25%). One quarter say neither is appropriate (26%) and one tenth
think both can be combined (10%). Surprisingly few voters don’t have an opinion
on this measure (6%).
Wide agreement carbon pricing leads to higher prices, not so
much job losses
thirds of Ontario voters agree carbon pricing will lead to higher prices for
everyday necessities (65%), while just one fifth do not agree (18%). A similar
proportion do not offer an opinion (17%). On the other hand, just more than a
third think carbon pricing will lead to job losses (38%) and a similar
proportion think it will not (34%). More than a quarter have no opinion (28%).
is a truism that, no matter how you present putting a price on carbon,
something which has never been priced before, it will be perceived as a tax.
That is the case here; voters react in an instinctively negative manner when
told they (or someone) may have to pay for something they got to do for free.
When the environmental and social trade-offs are explained, however, there is
more acceptance of the idea. It is interesting to note, among even those who
don’t agree with the idea, a direct carbon tax is preferred to the less obvious
method of capping and trading carbon," said
Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.
Ph.D. is the president and founder of Forum Research. He can be reached at email@example.com or at (416)