Less Than Half in U.S. and Britain Believe in Man-Made Climate Change

Canadians continue to hold different views on global warming than people in the United States and Britain, a new three-country Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

In the online survey of representative national samples, 58 per cent of Canadians believe that global warming is a fact and is mostly caused by emissions from vehicles and industrial facilities. The proportion of respondents who feel the same way is considerably lower in the United States (47%) and Britain (45%).

While three-in-five Canadians (60%) support protecting the environment, even at the risk of hampering economic growth, only 49 per cent of respondents in the United States—and 44 per cent in Britain—concur.

There is one area of Canada where significantly less than half of respondents believe in man-made climate change: Alberta (42%). In the United States, most residents of the Northeast (53%) and Midwest (52%) think global warming is caused by emissions, but their counterparts in the West (47%) and the South (42%) appear more skeptical.

In Britain, fewer than half of respondents across the five main regions agree with man-made climate change. London (48%) has the highest numbers, followed by Midlands and Wales (47%), the South of England (46%), Scotland (also 46%) and the North (42%).

Since 2009, most Canadians have sided with the notion of man-made climate change. This year’s numbers show little fluctuation from the survey conducted in Canada in June 2012. In the United States, the proportion of respondents who believe global warming is caused by emissions increased by five points. However, it still below the historic highs recorded in November 2009 and August 2011.

In Britain, no survey conducted in the past five years has yielded a majority of respondents expressing belief in man-made climate change, although the proportion of respondents who claim global warming is an unproven theory has dropped from a high of 27 per cent in April 2010 (during the University of East Anglia’s Independent Climate Change Email Review) to 19 per cent this year.

Full Report, Detailed Tables and Methodology (PDF)

Full Methodology Details

Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among:

– 1,009 American adults who are Springboard America panelists, from March 14 to March 15, 2013.
– 2,008 British adults who are Springboard UK panelists, from March 26 to March 27, 2013.
– 2,013 Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists, from March 14 to March 16, 2013.

The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/-2.2% for Canada and Great Britain and +/-3.1% for the United States. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of each country.