American Climate Metrics Survey 2023
Suggested Citation: Speiser, M., Hill, A. N., Ishaq, M. (October, 2023). American Climate Metrics Survey 2023: Guidance for the Climate Movement. ecoAmerica. Washington, DC.
This summer and fall, a series of wildfires burning through Canada and Maui, record-breaking heat, and floods in the Northeast region are stark reminders that our climate is changing rapidly, demanding swift attention and urgent action. The repercussions of inaction are not theoretical; they are unfolding before our eyes in the form of extreme weather events — heatwaves, heavy rainfall, severe storms, and drought-like conditions across different parts of the world. Thus, action on climate solutions is time-sensitive. It requires simultaneously reducing the pollution that is causing the climate to change and strengthening preparedness to ensure a safe and more resilient world for current and future generations, especially the most vulnerable.
ecoAmerica’s latest American Climate Metrics Survey (ACMS) 2023 captures American climate awareness, attitudes, and behaviors to provide insights that steer the climate movement toward activating a broader diversity of Americans for climate solutions. This ACMS 2023 report delivers refreshingly good news on climate: there are many points of consensus to work from to scale engagement and activation.
The first point of consensus is that the majority of Americans (72%) report being personally concerned about climate change. However, there exists a notable gap in actual versus perceived concern about climate change, with many Americans falsely thinking that others around them are less concerned. This gap between perception and reality is especially evident across younger adults aged 18-24 and older Americans aged 65+. Nevertheless, regardless of this gap, strong concern about climate change exists across racially diverse American populations as well as across party lines.
ACMS 2023 reveals additional points of consensus, including that Americans show a strong inclination to move away from sources of energy that pollute our air, water and land. In fact, a high majority of Americans believe that clean air and water (89%) and clean energy (86%) are critical rights for all people. This belief is shared with strong consensus across party lines. The survey findings also reveal that nationally, 85% of Americans consider it their moral responsibility to create a safe and healthy climate for themselves and their children. Three-quarters (75%) of Americans surveyed agree that the government needs to protect people from the impacts of extreme weather and 65% agree to vote for leaders who will prioritize climate change solutions. Nearly seven in ten (69%) Americans say that mitigating climate change would improve people’s health. Over half of Americans (53%) are switching to efficient appliances or lighting to conserve energy at home. Moreover, climate dialogue is happening — around half of the American population (48%) regularly discuss climate change with family and friends.
We still have time to forge a path toward a brighter, more just and resilient climate future. These findings highlight an opportunity to invite a broader diversity of Americans into relevant and empowering climate action.