Poll: More Americans Than Ever Demand Climate, Energy Action

November 13, 2012

Pre-election, Pre-Sandy polling shows the tide continuing to shift strongly in favor of renewable energy, and climate action.

Yale Project on Climate Change Communication:

In Public Support for Climate & Energy Policies in September 2012, we report that a growing majority of Americans say the President and Congress should make global warming a priority and that corporations, industry, and citizens themselves should do more to address the issue.  More than 9 out of 10 Americans also say developing clean energy should be a national priority. In addition, a majority of Americans – across party lines – say the U.S. should increase our use of renewable 
energy immediately.

As the nation focuses on the looming fiscal cliff, the survey also finds surprising public support for a revenue neutral carbon tax. A majority of Americans say they would vote for a candidate who supports a revenue neutral carbon tax 
if it created more jobs in the renewable energy and energy efficiency industries, decreased 
pollution, or helped to pay down the national debt.

  • Nearly all Americans (92%) say the president and the Congress should make developing sources of clean energy a “very high” (31%), “high” (38%), or “medium” priority (23%). Very few say it should be a low priority (8%).
  • A large majority (77%) say global warming should be a “very high” (18%), “high” (25%), or “medium” priority (34%) for the president and Congress. One in four (23%) say it should be a low priority.
  • Six in ten Americans (61%) say the U.S. should reduce its own greenhouse gas emissions regardless of what other countries do.
  • A large majority of Americans (88%) say the U.S. should make an effort to reduce global warming, even if it has economic costs. A plurality (44%) favors a medium-scale effort, even if it has moderate economic costs. One in four (24%) supports a large-scale effort even if there are large economic costs. And one in five (19%) supports a small-scale effort, even if it has small economic costs.
  • Americans say that corporations and industry (71%), citizens themselves (66%), the U.S. Congress (60%), and the President (53%) should be doing more to address global warming.
  • Majorities also support funding more research into renewable energy sources (73%), providing tax rebates for people who purchase energy-efficient vehicles or solar panels (73%), regulating CO2 as a pollutant (66%), eliminating all subsidies for the fossil-fuel industry (59%), and expanding drilling for oil and natural gas off the U.S. coast (58%)
  • These policies, however, have seen declining support over the past several years. Since 2008, support for funding research on renewable energy sources is down 19 percentage points, expanding offshore drilling is down 17 points, regulating CO2 as a pollutant is down 14 points, and tax rebates for the purchase of energy-efficient vehicles or solar panels is down 12 points.
  • Eight in ten (78%) say that in the future, the United States should use renewable energy sources like solar, wind, and geothermal much more or somewhat more than we do today.
  • Over half (54%) also say that in the future, the U.S. should use much less (26%) or somewhat less (28%) fossil fuels than we do today.
  • At least half of Americans say they would vote for a candidate who supports a revenue neutral carbon tax, if it created more American jobs in the renewable energy and energy efficiency industries (61% would support such a candidate), decreased pollution by encouraging companies to find less polluting alternatives (58%), or was used to pay down the national debt (52%).
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5 Responses to “Poll: More Americans Than Ever Demand Climate, Energy Action”

  1. mrsircharles Says:

    A couple of more Sandies and US America will become a green leader :) [hope]


  2. [...] the second major poll I’ve seen this week – we see a seismic shift occurring in American attitudes in regard to climate.  Today, the [...]


  3. [...] 2012/11/13: PSinclair: Poll: More Americans Than Ever Demand Climate, Energy Action [...]


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