REGINA, July 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - Saskatchewan residents have strong but divided opinions about climate change and carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, concludes a public opinion survey commissioned by IPAC-CO2 Research Inc. released today.
"Almost seven in ten (68%) residents are concerned about climate change," said Joe Ralko, Director of Communications for IPAC-CO2, who managed the survey.
"However, there is no consensus on how to address the problem. That could be because the survey discovered there is no agreement on what residents believe to be the main sources of greenhouse gas emissions. What the people of Saskatchewan are saying is that whatever steps are taken to mitigate climate change must be effective."
Saskatchewan residents are clear on their trusted sources of information on climate change.
"Our study shows scientists and researchers (73 %) are the most trusted source for information but they are confused about the impacts of CO2 on the environment, and don't know what the risks and benefits of carbon capture and storage are," said Dr. Carmen Dybwad, Chief Executive Officer of IPAC-CO2.
"People are overwhelmed by the information that is out there, which is why there needs to be a group like IPAC-CO2 who can communicate about CCS and climate change."
Responses for the survey were collected from 1,003 Saskatchewan residents between May 30 and June 8 using Insightrix Research Inc.'s proprietary online panel, SaskWatch Research™.
"We set specific quotas for demographic variables, such as: age, gender, education, region, income and voting, to ensure the sample of respondents mirrored the general population throughout Saskatchewan," said Briana Brownell, Manager of Analytics at Insightrix.
Thirty-two percent of those surveyed believe that CCS could be very or fairly effective in fighting climate change while 39 percent think it would not be very effective, or not at all effective.
The remaining 29 percent are unsure, which is a notable increase from the 2011 research where 20 percent of those surveyed did not have an opinion whether or not CCS would be effective in fighting climate change.
A majority of Saskatchewan residents (58%) believe that climate change is occurring due to a combination of human activity and natural climate variation. Some (21%) believe that climate change is occurring due to human activity, and even less think that climate change is occurring only because of natural variation (16%).
"Compared to 2011, the opinions of Saskatchewan residents on their anticipated level of concern if a carbon dioxide (CO2) storage site was to be located within 5 kilometers of their home has shifted," said Brownell.
"The proportion who would be fairly or very worried has decreased (from 49% to 43%), while a higher proportion of residents are unsure (10% vs. 16%)."
CCS 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.
IPAC-CO2 Research Inc., the International Performance Assessment Centre for geologic storage of Carbon Dioxide, is an environmental non-government organization (ENGO) created to provide independent risk and performance assessments, develop standards, conduct applied research and engage communities, government and industry leaders on all aspects of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS).
The 2012 survey on Public Awareness and Acceptance of CSS in Saskatchewan is available on IPAC-CO2's website at: www.ipac-co2.com/research
A national survey on Public Awareness and Acceptance of CCS in Canada will be released by IPAC-CO2 in August 2012.
SOURCE IPAC-CO2 Research Inc.