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Knowledge, attitudes and behaviours related to climate change in Alberta, Canada: implications for public health policy and practice

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Climate change has received recent extensive media attention (e.g., Kyoto Protocol) and is currently on the international public health agenda. The purpose of this study was to survey knowledge, attitudes and behaviours related to climate change in the province of Alberta, Canada. A random sample of 600 Alberta households, using proportional quotas based on the Canada Census of the Alberta population, was surveyed on knowledge, attitudes and behaviours related to climate change using a computer-assisted telephone interviewing protocol. Albertans are highly concerned, particularly about health problems related to the environment and air pollution; yet are only moderately informed about a variety of environmental issues. While the great majority of Albertans appear to be engaged in environmental behaviours at home, fewer consider energy efficiency when purchasing consumer goods. An even smaller percentage makes environmentally conscious transportation decisions. To encourage the population to make recommended environmental behaviours, mass media approaches may do well to target the specific beliefs that were deemed salient (e.g., promote the association between environment issues and health). The public health sector has a major role in working with inter-sectoral groups to address this significant public health issue.
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Keywords: Climate change; behaviour change; population health

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Centre for Health Promotion Studies University of Alberta 2: Population and Public Health Branch, Health Canada 3: Centre for Health Promotion Studies University of Alberta Canada

Publication date: June 1, 2004

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