How much actual public support is there for a low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS)? A number of different approaches to LCFSs have been used in various regions of the world over the last decade, providing us with some interesting data on that count.
As part of some new work from Simon Fraser University, researchers there have quantified and explored public support for British Columbia’s LCFS, as well as a proposed (hypothetical) LCFS for Canada as a whole, by utilizing survey data taken from a representative sample.
To be more specific here, the researchers assessed: “citizen awareness of British Columbia’s LCFS; stated citizen support for the LCFS; and how individual characteristics relate to levels of citizen support.”
Interestingly, the research found that even amongst the citizens of British Columbia (which has had a LCFS for some time now), awareness of the program was practically unknown. Only 10% of those queried had heard of the LCFS. Once explained, though, there was broad support — with roughly 90% of those queried supporting it. The researchers characterize this mix as passive support — low knowledge, but high support.
Also worth noting, is that there is broad support amongst most Canadians for a countrywide LCFS. However, households that rely on single-occupancy vehicles are notably less likely to support an LCFS.
As a final note, despite Alberta’s economic reliance on its fossil fuel industry, those queried in the region were also overwhelmingly in support of an LCFS. That said, while support is broad, rural areas appear to possess greater levels of opposition (outside of Alberta as well, just in general).