Albertans Thirst for Renewable and Clean Energy

Edmonton- A recent poll showing that Albertans overwhelmingly prefer subsidies for renewable and clean energy sends a message to the Stelmach government that its upcoming budget should include plans to develop a green economy for Alberta.

The poll (click here for PDF)was commissioned by the Alberta Council for Environmental Education (ACEE) and conducted by the polling firm Ipsos Reid shows that when asked to choose, Albertans overwhelmingly prefer subsidies for renewable and clean energy in the future compared to oil and gas. The poll shows that 78 per cent of Albertans prefer subsidies for renewable and clean energy options in the future while only 11 per cent prefer subsidies for oil and gas development.

"This poll shows that Albertans see the potential a green economy holds for Alberta, and they want the government to get involved and lead us there," said Gil McGowan, President of the Alberta Federation of Labour. "Albertans know that we can have a strong economy that doesn't sacrifice our environment."

The poll also showed:

  • 66 per cent of Albertans feel more government action is needed to solve environmental problems facing Alberta;
  • 79 per cent of Albertans feel it is possible to have a strong economy while protecting the environment; and
  • 91 per cent of Albertans think it is more fair that companies causing environmental harm should pay the costs of clean up.

"This poll supports what environmentalists and economists have been saying for years; it's time to invest in the future rather than the past," said Mike Hudema, Climate and Energy Campaigner with Greenpeace Canada. "It's time the Stelmach government brings in a budget that invests in people and in building safe, vibrant and sustainable communities in Alberta. A green investment strategy would allow Alberta to diversify its economy, to stabilize it and to put thousands of people to work building our green energy future."

"Albertans have a much better sense of direction than the government when it comes to where this province should be going," said Lindsay Telfer, Prairie Director with the Sierra Club Canada. "Instead of subsidizing the oil and gas industry, we should be building a green future led by renewables, green industries and conservation."

"We can put tens of thousands of Albertans back to work, building a cleaner and healthier province," said David Thompson, author of a forthcoming report on green jobs. "A smart stimulus package will create good, green jobs and take us in the right direction for the future." The green jobs report will be released by the AFL, Greenpeace and Sierra Club in late April.

Editors: About the ACEE 2009 Poll on Environmental Education and Market-Based Instruments (MBIs): This poll was commissioned by the Alberta Council for Environmental Education (ACEE), which works to advances environmental education in Alberta to help build a more sustainable society. Funding for this work was provided by the Land Stewardship Centre of Canada, the government of Alberta, and anonymous donors.  The poll was conducted by Ipsos Reid Public Affairs between January 12th and 21st, 2009.  For the survey, a representative randomly selected sample of 801 adult Albertans was interviewed by telephone.  With a sample of this size, the results are considered to be accurate to within  +-3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult population of Alberta been polled.  The margin of error will be higher within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population.  The data were weighted to ensure that the sample's regional and age/gender composition reflects that of the actual Alberta population aged 18 or older according to 2006 Census data.

ACEE is an independent organization and is not participating in the upcoming green jobs report. It will make its polling findings on market-based instruments available to anyone who wants them. Its polling findings on market-based instruments are available at


For more information call:

Lindsay Telfer, Sierra Club Canada @ 780-710-0136

Mike Hudema, Greenpeace Canada @ 780-504-5601

Gil McGowan, AFL President @ 780-483-3021 or 780-218-9888 (cell)

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