REGINA, Nov. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ - Public awareness and acceptance of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) as a tool to combat climate change is higher in Saskatchewan than Europe, concludes a survey released today by IPAC-CO2 Research Inc.
Formed in 2009, IPAC-CO2 works to gain public and regulator confidence in the geological storage of carbon dioxide as a sustainable energy and environmental option by providing independent performance assessments of carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects.
"Four in ten (40%) Saskatchewan people surveyed have heard of CO2 capture and storage and know what it is, and an additional one third (36%) have heard of it but don't really know what it is while one quarter (23%) have not heard of it at all," said Carmen Dybwad, CEO of the environmental non-government organization (ENGO).
The survey of 1,104 Saskatchewan individuals commissioned by IPAC-CO2 was conducted by Insightrix Research, Inc. between Sept. 27 and Oct. 11. The online Saskatchewan poll parallels a Eurobarometer survey of 13,000 individuals in 12 European countries. Results of a Canadian poll commissioned by IPAC-CO2 are being tabulated.
CCS, a key tool in combating climate change, involves extracting carbon dioxide during the process of power generation or from heavy industrial operations such as steel mills or cement plants, compressing it and storing the CO2 permanently in depleted oil or gas fields or saline aquifers.
"Comparing the awareness levels to the Eurobarometer study shows a much higher level of awareness in Saskatchewan compared to Europe, where two thirds (67%) have not heard of the technology and just one in ten (10%) have heard of it and know what it is," Dybwad said.
Overall, respondents are divided on how effective they believe that CCS would be in combating climate change. Few (6%) respondents believe that CCS technology will be very effective in fighting climate change, while an additional 31% believe that it would be fairly effective.
"About the same proportion of respondents in Saskatchewan believe that CCS would be very (6% in both cases) or fairly (31% in Saskatchewan; 33% in Europe) effective in fighting climate change," Dybwad said.
"However, the proportion who are unsure of its effectiveness is much higher in Europe (36%) compared to Saskatchewan (20%), likely related to the very different knowledge levels in the two areas."
Comparing the priorities of Saskatchewan residents to the European results showed several differences. Respondents were asked to choose up to two priorities from a list of eight.
While about the same proportion chose stimulating the development of industries that supply environmentally-friendly technologies and services (30% in Saskatchewan and 29% in Europe) or promoting cleaner cars running on electricity or low-carbon fuels (both 29%) as a priority, Saskatchewan residents tend to be more supportive of raising the energy efficiency of industrial processes (36% vs. 18%), encouraging the building of energy efficient homes and the insulation of existing homes (30% vs. 22%), and securing a reliable energy supply for Canada (21% vs. 10%).
"Our survey identified the most trusted source of information about CCS is scientists and researchers (77%)," she said.
Like the Eurobarometer results, television is the most cited source of information on climate change in Saskatchewan (80% in Saskatchewan, 81% in Europe).
"Generally, Saskatchewan residents cited more information sources than did respondents in Europe; two thirds mention the Internet (67% vs. 44% in Europe), six in ten newspapers (59% vs. 44%) and four in ten radio (42% vs. 26%) or magazines (41% vs. 23%)," Dybwad said.
One in six people in Saskatchewan believe that they are very well informed about the causes (13%), consequences (13%) and ways in which we can fight climate change (12%).
However, a majority of respondents in each of these categories believe that they are fairly aware of these issues (60%, 61%, and 59%, respectively).
The margin of error within the online population is +/- 3.4 percentage points at 95% confidence.
A summary of the Saskatchewan survey is available online (www.ipac-co2.com).
Upon request, Dybwad said IPAC-CO2 would share the full survey with individuals and organizations.
SOURCE IPAC-CO2 Research Inc.