Canadian support for biofuels tops 80 percent

By Susanne Retka Schill | November 20, 2009
Posted December 1, 2009

Canadian support for biofuels is quite strong according to a study released at the opening of the Canadian Renewable Fuels Summit held Dec. 1 and 2 in Vancouver, British Columbia. Ontario-based Praxicus Public Strategies Inc. conducted a survey from Oct. 30 to Nov. 3 for the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association.

"The poll clearly shows that Canadians want to shift from fossil fuels towards alternatives. Eighty-four percent of Canadians support the promotion of low-carbon, homegrown renewable fuels as a major part of that change," Praxicus president Dimitri Pantazopoulos said. "This support for renewable fuels is consistently strong in every region of the country. Canadians want our energy supply to grow beyond oil."

Other questions found strong support for the Canadian renewable fuels industry. The survey results have a margin of error of about 3 percent. Among the findings:

    • 81 percent of Canadians expressed support for the development of a strategy to encourage the development of renewable fuel technology and production.

    • 74 percent of Canadians support the current national requirement that gasoline consist of five per cent ethanol by 2010 and all diesel consist of two percent biodiesel by 2011. This is an eight percent increase in support for the Renewable Fuel Standard since support was measured in April 2008. At that point, 66 percent of Canadians supported the national requirement.

    • The intensity of support for renewable fuels is growing. The number of Canadians who strongly support the national requirement is 42 percent, up 16 percent over the 2008 findings.

"Canadians are clearly embracing the move to ethanol and biodiesel," Pantazopoulos said. "It is clear, from tracking these results over several years, the more Canadians learn about renewable fuels, such as ethanol and biodiesel, the more they like what they see."

"These are numbers any politician would die for," commented CRFA President Gordon Quaiattini in his remarks at the summit. "The fact that this many people believe renewable fuels are the way to go sends an unmistakable signal to the marketplace, to farm families and to policymakers."
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