TORONTO, April 17, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — New research released today by Unite for Change finds that three-quarters (75%) of Canadians are experiencing anxiety about climate change and its impacts, with Canadians ages 18 to 34 most likely to be concerned about climate change (81%). The concerns are so great that one-in-five Canadians (21%) say they are having fewer or no children as a way to take action against climate change.
In a survey of 1,504 Canadians from across the country, respondents were asked to rank their perceived risks to their future. Only the rising cost of living/inflation (36%) and access to quality healthcare (16%) outranked climate change and its impact (13%). Furthermore, more Canadians ranked climate change as the greatest risk to their future than the ability to make a liveable wage (12%), social inequalities (4%), and access to quality education (2%).
Residents of Quebec are most likely to be worried about climate change (86%), followed by Ontario (75%), British Columbia (74%) and Atlantic Canada (73%). Residents of Saskatchewan and Manitoba are by far the least likely to express worry about climate change (48%). Twenty-five percent of Canadians are not worried about climate change.
“It is clear that climate change is top of mind among many Canadians, especially younger generations who appear to be experiencing climate anxiety,” says Duke Chang, President and CEO of CanadaHelps, which powers Unite for Change. “This year’s Earth Day is an opportunity for Canadians to take control and learn about environmental issues, and how they can take action to make our world a better place.”
More Than Half of Canadians Think The Government is Not Doing Enough
The survey also reveals that many Canadians believe there is room for all levels of government to do more to tackle climate change. Only two-in-five (39%) Canadians agree that the federal government is doing enough, and just one-in-three (34%) say the same about their provincial government. Almost half (46%) of Canadians disagree that their local municipal governments are doing enough on the matter. Canadians between 18 and 34 years of age are consistently more likely to disagree that governments, at all levels, are not doing enough to fight climate change, expressing the highest disappointment towards the provincial government (63%), followed by the federal government (55%) and their municipal government (52%).
How Canadians Are Taking Climate Action
While many Canadians think that all levels of government can do more to take action on climate change, most are taking matters into their own hands. Among Canadians who believe climate change is an issue, the vast majority (86%) say they take action on climate change by recycling and composting, although less than half say the same of other actions. Two-in-five report carpooling, taking public transit or walking/biking more often (41%); three-in-ten (28%) actively research climate issues, and related topics; and about one-in-seven (14%) follow a vegetarian or vegan diet. Only 15 percent donate to climate action and environmental initiatives, while 5% don’t know how they can tackle climate change.
“Environmental issues are complex, but there are things that Canadians can do – and increasingly, they are,” says Michael Bernstein, the curator of the Fight Climate Change with Policy Fund by Unite for Change. “Unite for Change makes it easy for Canadians to learn about these issues, spread the word, and fund change. No matter if it’s combating climate change, protecting the environment, or supporting organizations working on policy change, there’s a way all Canadians, regardless of their age, can support environmental causes close to their heart and make a meaningful difference with Unite for Change.”
Ways Canadians Can Take Action This Earth Day
As Earth Day approaches on April 22nd, there are many ways Canadians can support environmental initiatives. When a donation is made to a Cause Fund on Unite for Change, the donated amount is divided equally among registered Canadian charities, all focused on the same cause. Canadians can easily support the environment by donating to one of three environment-related Cause Funds on Unite for Change:
- Fight Climate Change with Policy Fund: Curated by Michael Bernstein, Executive Director of Clean Prosperity, this fund supports critical programs and initiatives that advocate for policy changes to end the climate crisis and lead to building a cleaner, healthier world. From April 17th to 22nd, donations to this fund will be matched.*
- Land and Food Justice Fund: This fund supports leading organizations that improve land access and promote ecological food systems. Curated by Natasha van Bentum, Director of Give Green Canada; Lauren Baker, the Senior Director of Programs with the Global Alliance for the Future of Food; and Leticia Ama Deawuo, the Executive Director of SeedChange, this fund includes almost 40 charities from across Canada that are substantially focused on land access, ecological food systems, and food justice. From April 17th to 22nd, donations to this fund will be matched.*
- Protect the Environment Fund: The Protect the Environment Fund supports more than 500 registered charities focused on protecting the environment and its ecosystems.
Canadians who would like to take action in support of the environment in a different way can also take a quiz on climate change to test their knowledge. For every quiz completion, $5 will be donated to the Fight Climate Change with Policy Fund.
About This Study
These are the findings of a study conducted by CanadaHelps from March 1st and 3rd, 2023 among a nationally representative sample of n=1,504 Canadian adults (18+), balanced and weighted on age, gender, region and education. All respondents were members of the Angus Reid Forum. For comparison purposes only, a sample of this size would yield a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points at a 95% confidence level. The survey was offered in both English and French.
About Unite for Change
Unite for Change is on a mission to empower Canadians who want to make our world a better place. At UniteforChange.com, Canadians can learn about issues, spread the word, and fund change for the issues that matter to them. When a donation is made on Unite for Change to one of more than 35 Cause Funds, donations are divided among registered Canadian charities all working towards the same cause. Unite for Change is powered by www.CanadaHelps.org, Canada’s largest online donation and fundraising platform. Connect with Unite for Change on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Note to Media:
The source survey data and related graphics are available for download here.
Senior Manager, Public Relations & Unite for Change
*Earth Day 2023 Offer valid for donations of a minimum of $3 made to the Land and Food Justice Fund and Fight Climate Change with Policy Fund beginning Monday, April 17th, 2023, 12:01 AM EST and ending on Saturday, April 22nd, 2023 at 11:59 PM PST. Donations to the Land and Food Justice Fund will be matched to a maximum aggregate amount of $6,000 CAD, and donations to the Fight Climate Change with Policy Fund will be matched to a maximum aggregate amount of $10,000 CAD. Donors will receive a tax receipt for the value of their donation through CanadaHelps. Offer is only valid on one-time donations made to the Fund, and does not include donations made to individual charities, charity campaigns, the donation of securities, P2P or third-party events, API donations, new or existing monthly donations, and the purchase or redemption of Charity Gift Cards. While supplies last. Unite for Change/CanadaHelps reserves the right to end the promotion at anytime.