Sustainability News 25 Jun 2020

Poll: Big Majorities of Americans Want Action on Climate Change

Wow. Pew Research Center this week released the results of a poll of Americans about climate change. Check out the percentages of those responding who said the following:

  • 63%: Climate change is affecting their local community some (39%) or a great deal (24%).
  • 65%: The federal government is doing too little to reduce the effects of climate change.
  • 79%: The US should prioritize developing alternative energy sources.

Popularity of Specific Ideas

Here are the percentages of US adults who told the pollsters that they favor each of the following proposals to reduce the effects of climate change:

  • 90%: Planting about a trillion trees to absorb carbon emissions (favored by 88% of Republicans/those leaning Republican, 92% of Democrats/those leaning Democratic)
  • 84%: Providing a tax credit to businesses for developing carbon capture/storage (78% of Republicans/lean Republican, 90% of Democrats/lean Democratic)
  • 80%: Imposing tougher restrictions on power plant carbon emissions (64% of Republicans/lean Republican, 93% of Democrats/lean Democratic)
  • 73%: Taxing corporations based on their carbon emissions (55% of Republicans/lean Republican, 89% of Democrats/lean Democratic)
  • 71%: Imposing tougher fuel efficiency standards for cars (52% of Republicans/lean Republican, 86% of Democrats/lean Democratic)

When majorities of poll respondents in both parties support an idea in these polarized times, you know it has gone mainstream.

“Public concern over climate change has been growing in recent years, particularly among Democrats, and there are no signs that the COVID-19 pandemic has dampened concern levels,” wrote Alec Tyson and Brian Kennedy on the Pew website. Their detailed analysis of the poll results is fascinating, even astonishing in some ways, and well worth checking out.

Pew conducted the survey April 29 through May 5 among 10,957 US adults. The margin of sampling error for the full sample is plus or minus 1.4 percentage points.

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