Majority of Ontarians Not Sold on Carbon Taxes, Think They’re Simply a Tax Grab

Only Half (52%) Say Carbon Taxes Will Improve World’s Climate

Majority of Ontarians Not Sold on Carbon Taxes, Think They’re Simply a Tax Grab

The author(s)

  • Darrell Bricker CEO, Global
Get in touch

Toronto, ON, May 14, 2018 — With Ontarians heading to the ballot box in less than a month, the topic of carbon pricing is a controversial policy being debated during the campaign. In fact, according to a new Ipsos poll conducted exclusively for Global News, most Ontarians are not convinced that carbon taxes are an effective way to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

After launching the carbon-pricing program in 2017, cap-and-trade remains an established plank in the Liberals’ platform. However, carbon pricing shows to be a divisive issue among Ontarians. Seven in ten (72%) agree (41% strongly/31% somewhat) that carbon taxes are simply a tax grab. Significantly more Conservative voters (85%) agree with this statement, but still a majority of NDP (72%) and Liberal (54%) voters agree.

A majority of Ontarians also agree that carbon taxes are a pointless, symbolic gesture (68%, 36% very/32% somewhat), and that they unfairly punish people who commute by car to work (68% agree, 29% very/39% somewhat). Again, Conservative voters are more likely to agree with these statements: eight in ten (83%) agree that carbon taxes are a pointless symbolic gesture (vs. 65% NDP voters, 48% Liberal voters), while another eight in ten (83%) agree carbon taxes unfairly punish commuters (vs. 71% NDP voters, 52% Liberal voters).

In general, those who say they have a pessimistic view of Ontario’s economic future, are more likely to believe they’re just a tax grab and are only a symbolic gesture:
• Eight in ten (81%) with a pessimistic economic outlook say they are simply a tax grab (vs. 66% of those who have an optimistic view of the economy);
• And three in four (75%) of those with a pessimistic economic outlook say carbon taxes are a pointless symbolic gesture that will cost Ontarians a lot of money and do little for the world's climate (vs. 63% of those who have an optimistic view of the economy).

Ontarians Divided Over Carbon Taxes

Ontarians are divided right down the middle about the efficacy of carbon taxes. Half (52%) agree (12% strongly/40% somewhat) that carbon taxes are an effective way of making sure that people make smart choices about their emissions. Moreover, half (50%) also agree (15% strongly/35% somewhat) that carbon taxes are fair because they make sure that those who put carbon into the air pay for it.

In addition to effectively regulating emissions, half (52%) agree (14% strongly/38% somewhat) carbon taxes will help improve the world’s climate. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Liberal and NDP voters are more likely to be in agreeance; 64% of Liberal voters, and 54% of NDP voters agree that carbon taxes are an effective way of making sure people make smart choices about their emissions (vs. 37% Conservative voters). Seven in ten (74%) Liberals voters, and 48% of NDP voters agree that carbon taxes will help improve the world’s climate (vs. 33% of Conservative voters). As well, 67% of Liberal voters, and 48% of NDP voters agree that carbon taxes are fair because they make sure those who put carbon into the air pay for it (vs. 35% of Conservative voters).

Those who have an optimistic view of Ontario’s economic future are more likely to agree that carbon taxes are effective, will benefit the world’s climate, and are fair:
• Six in ten (60%) say carbon taxes are an effective way of making sure that people make smart choices about their carbon emissions (vs. 39% of those who have a pessimistic view of the economy);
• Six in ten (59%) say carbon taxes will help improve the world’s climate (vs. 40% of those who have a pessimistic view of the economy);
• And over half (57%) say carbon taxes are fair because they make sure that those who put carbon in the air pay for it (vs. 38% of those who have a pessimistic view of the economy).

Millennials between the ages of 18 and 34 are more likely to agree that carbon taxes are effective for ensuring people make smart choices about their emissions (62% vs. 47% Gen X’ers, and 48% Boomers), and that they will help to improve the world’s climate (64% vs. 47% Gen X’ers, and 48% Boomers). In addition to stronger agreement from younger respondents, carbon taxes are most likely to be embraced by Ontarians who live in Toronto proper.

© 2018, Ipsos Limited Partnership
This polling release and the data contained in it are the sole and exclusive property of Ipsos. They are NOT designed to support any election outcome or prediction model and no license to use the polling release or the data is either granted or implied by their publication. Ipsos does not endorse, and has no responsibility for the accuracy of, the result of any predictive model that incorporates this polling data. Furthermore, any use of this information to produce polling aggregations or election models without Ipsos’ written permission will be considered a violation of our intellectual property, and Ipsos reserves the right to take appropriate legal action.

About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between May 4 and 7, 2018, on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of 1,197 Ontario eligible voters was interviewed online (789 Ontarian eligible voters aged 18+ from Ipsos' online panel were interviewed online, supplemented by river-based sampling) and by telephone (408 Ontarian eligible voters aged 18+ via live-operator random-digit dialing, dual-frame cellphone and landline). Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ±3.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all eligible Ontario voters been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

For more information on this news release, please contact:
Darrell Bricker, CEO
Ipsos Global Public Affairs
+1 416 324 2001
Darrell.Bricker@ipsos.com

About Ipsos Public Affairs

Ipsos Public Affairs is a non-partisan, objective, survey-based research practice made up of seasoned professionals. We conduct strategic research initiatives for a diverse number of Canadian American and international organizations, based not only on public opinion research, but elite stakeholder, corporate, and media opinion research.
Ipsos has media partnerships with the most prestigious news organizations around the world. In Canada, Ipsos Public Affairs is the polling partner for Global News. Internationally, Ipsos Public Affairs is the media polling supplier to Reuters News, the world's leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. Ipsos Public Affairs is a member of the Ipsos Group, a leading global survey-based market research company. We provide boutique-style customer service and work closely with our clients, while also undertaking global research.

About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. Ipsos ranks fourth in the global research industry.
With offices in 88 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across five research specializations: brand, advertising and media; customer loyalty; marketing; public affairs research; and survey management.
Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.
Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,782.7 million in 2016.

The author(s)

  • Darrell Bricker CEO, Global

Society