Press Release

Canadians Want Action to Protect Forests – New EKOS Poll Confirms

Margie Kelly, NRDC, 541.222.9699, mkelly@nrdc.org

Michael Polanyi, Nature Canada, 343.553.6060, mpolanyi@naturecanada.ca

Alice-Anne Simard, Nature Québec, 418.803.4992, alice-anne.simard@naturequebec.org

WASHINGTON (March 28, 2022) – On the eve of the release of Canada’s major new climate plan, an EKOS poll shows that the vast majority of Canadians want the federal government to take stronger action to protect forests and address logging industry emissions. 

The poll shows that 83 percent of Canadians want stronger protection of forests and wildlife, and 73 percent want Canada’s 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan - expected to be released on Tuesday - to include strong action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from logging. The Emissions Reduction Plan will outline how Canada will cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40 to 45 percent by 2030.  

“This poll clearly shows that Canadians want increased government scrutiny - and regulation - of logging’s true climate impact,” said Graham Saul, Executive Director of Nature Canada. “If the government’s climate plan doesn’t include action to protect forests and reduce logging emissions, it won’t effectively tackle the climate crisis.”

Canada’s forests are globally significant with the boreal forest alone representing 25 percent of the world’s remaining intact forests and storing hundreds of billions of tons of carbon – the equivalent of about 15 years of the world’s total emissions.

“Canada’s forests are under attack as industrial logging clearcuts hundreds of thousands of hectares of forest annually,” said Anthony Swift, Director of the NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) Canada Program. “The destruction of intact forests is a serious threat both to habitat critical to species’ survival and to our climate. This new poll shows that Canadians want this destruction to stop and for the government to step up as a global leader on forests.”

The poll also shows that more than three in four Canadians (76 percent), including more than half of Conservative supporters, want large companies to pay a carbon price on wood combustion, as companies do when burning other fuels. Respondents also seem open to the economic benefits and opportunities of protecting forests: 57% of respondents were not at all concerned, or only slightly concerned about job losses; only one in seven were very concerned.

Industrial logging in Canada causes a net release of more than 80 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions a year – equivalent to the emissions from all of Canada’s oil sands operations.

1,034 Canadians were polled between March 11-18, 2022 by EKOS Canada. The margin of error is +/- 3.0 percentage points, 19 times in 20.

The poll was an initiative of Nature Canada, NRDC, and Nature Québec. 

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NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.​

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