Public attitudes in a post-pandemic world
Now that COVID-19 has given Canadians such a vivid example of the difference preparation can make when a crisis strikes, will public expectations about climate action shift? Will Canadians be more persuaded of the need for early investment in climate action, and demand more of governments and businesses?
The next edition of the Canadian Environmental Barometer, forthcoming in June 2020, will explore these questions. As governments and businesses work toward post-pandemic economic recovery, it will be vital to gauge plans and communications against an up-to-date understanding of public attitudes.
One overarching question hovers over nearly every dilemma leaders are facing today. Do Canadians believe the depth of the country’s current economic pain justifies setting climate concerns to one side temporarily, or do they see the near-shutdown of the economic status quo as a unique opportunity for deep, structural change? Do Canadians want a “green recovery” that tightly yokes stimulus funding to sustainable, low-carbon economic activities?
The Barometer’s next fielding, combined with long-term tracking data, will offer a valuable window onto how the current crisis is shaping Canadians’ thinking about the next big global threat.