Almost One-in-Five Canadians Say Global Warming is a Theory

Half of Canadians say the federal government is paying “the right amount” of attention to the environment. 

Vancouver, BC [January 4, 2019] – A large majority of Canadians believe in human-made climate change, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, three-in-five Canadians (60%) think global warming (or climate change) is a fact and is mostly caused by emissions from vehicles and industrial facilities.

An additional 15% of Canadians think global warming is a fact and is mostly caused by natural changes.

Almost one-in-five respondents (18%) refer to global warming as a theory that has not yet been proven—a proportion that includes 22% of Canadians aged 55 and over and 36% of those who voted for the Conservative Party in the 2015 federal election.

Across the country, two thirds of Canadians (66%) say it is more important to them to protect the environment, even at the risk of hampering economic growth.

A significantly smaller proportion of respondents (22%) say they would prefer to foster economic growth, even at the risk of damaging the environment.

“Political allegiance plays a big role in the struggle between environmental stewardship and economic development,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “While more than three-in-five Canadians who voted for the Liberals or the New Democrats in 2015 believe environmental protection is paramount, the proportion falls to 47% among Conservative voters.”

Half of Canadians (50%) think the current federal government is paying the right amount of attention to the environment, including 59% of Liberal voters.

Conversely, 31% of Canadians believe Ottawa is not paying enough attention to the environment, including 40% of New Democrat voters in 2015.

About one-in-six Canadians (14%) think the federal government is paying too much attention to the environment, including 43% of Conservative voters.


Results are based on an online study conducted from December 17 to December 20, 2018, among 1,000 adults in Canada. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.1 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our full data set here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:
Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.