One of the local rags is reporting on a new article (click here for a link to the abstract) in the journal, Global Environmental Change, written jointly by Ekaterina Rhodes, Jonn Axsen, and Mark Jaccard of the School of Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University.
British Columbians are largely unaware of government climate policies…
An online survey of 475 people found only one in four people could name a single climate policy and among those who could, nearly all of them named the Carbon Tax applied to fossil fuels in B.C.
Only one respondent named the astonishingly effective Renewable & Low Carbon Fuel Requirements Regulation that is responsible for one quarter of our reduction in carbon emissions since 2007. After the policy was explained, 90 per cent of respondents supported the idea.
The study challenges the notion touted by some politicians and most environmental groups that knowledge of climate science and well-informed citizen support are required to implement effective climate policy, said co-author Jonn Axsen, a professor specializing in sustainable energy systems.
In addition to citizens being non-informed about environmental policies, the authors come up with three additional important conclusions:
- Regulations achieve the highest citizen support, carbon tax the lowest.
- Citizen awareness and knowledge are not associated with higher policy support.
- Providing policy information does not increase citizen support.
The second bulleted point above is interesting, implying an inherent tension between what the public prefers–regulation–and what policy-makers prefer–taxation. Policy-makers prefer taxation not only because it is relatively simple policy to implement, but also because it is economically efficient, allowing consumers and producers to place the “correct” value and costs, respectively, on carbon.
By the way, did you know that Canadians are the most scientifically literate people in the world?