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Canadians have low expectations for Copenhagen: poll

Most Canadians will be happy to know that Prime Minister Stephen Harper will attend the international climate change conference in Copenhagen Dec. 7 -- even if few believe he will achieve anything significant there.

According to a recent Angus Reid online survey, 76 per cent of 1,010 respondents think that Prime Minister Harper should attend negotiations. Harper had been waffling on whether he would or wouldn't, but his spokesperson told reporters this morning he decided in favour because all the other leaders were going.

He also said that "the countries of the world remain a long way from a binding, legal treaty on climate change" -- a sentiment that most Canadian share.

The survey found that, while most people (58 per cent) want participant countries to come up with a legally binding agreement on specific greenhouse gas reduction targets, only five per cent actually expect it to happen.

A fifth of those surveyed (20 per cent) wish to see targets met on on a voluntary basis, and only 12 per cent would be happy to see that there is no agreement at all.

Poll results also showed that 63 per cent of Canadians believe that climate change is a real problem, caused by human activity.

Colleen Kimmett reports for The Tyee.

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