SOURCE: University of Waterloo

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June 09, 2015 12:04 ET

Global Conversation on Climate Change Reveals Canadians Expect More From National Effort to Tackle Problems

WATERLOO, ON--(Marketwired - June 09, 2015) - A sweeping citizen consultation reveals more than 80 per cent of Canadians asked feel climate change is not a national priority but it should be, compared to nearly 60 per cent of citizens in the other G7 countries.

The results emerge from the World Wide Views on Climate and Energy, the largest global climate consultation-ever held. Beginning at dawn on Saturday, June 6th in the Pacific Islands and ending at dusk in the West Coast of the United States, more than 10,000 people from 79 countries spanning five continents came together to discuss and vote on issues related to climate change and energy.

In general, answers from Canadians surveyed aligned with those of people all over the world. However when compared to its G7 counterparts, some results from Canada stand out.

Canadians are less inclined to do whatever it takes to stop climate change. When asked if "the world should take ambitious action, but not whatever it takes," only 20 per cent of G7 respondents agreed compared to 32 per cent of Canadians.

There was also a split between Canadians and citizens in other G7 countries about who is responsible for tackling climate change. Participants in G7 countries felt more strongly (12 per cent) that tackling climate change was a global responsibility. The Canadian results also reveal that they're seven per cent more likely to believe that tackling climate change is primarily the responsibility of national governments.

The University of Waterloo, with support from the Balsillie School of International Affairs, organized Ontario's participation in the ambitious project. 107 citizens from the Region of Waterloo debated and answered more than 30 specific questions on five key themes related to climate change and energy.

"Canadians are asking their governments and each other to do more on tackling climate change," said David McLaughlin, strategic advisor on sustainability in the Faculty of Environment. "There is a growing consensus amongst Canadians that the world and Canada need to act more to tackle climate change. The results are clear. Canadians want climate change to be more of a priority for Canada than it is."

All results and tools for comparing different countries, regions and politically organized states are all available on the World Wide Views website.

About the University of Waterloo
In just half a century, the University of Waterloo, located at the heart of Canada's technology hub, has become one of Canada's leading comprehensive universities with 35,000 full- and part-time students in undergraduate and graduate programs. A globally focused institution, celebrated as Canada's most innovative university for 23 consecutive years, Waterloo is home to the world's largest post-secondary co-operative education program and encourages enterprising partnerships in learning, research and discovery. In the next decade, the university is committed to building a better future for Canada and the world by championing innovation and collaboration to create solutions relevant to the needs of today and tomorrow. For more information about Waterloo, please visit uwaterloo.ca.

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