Bi-Partisan American Attitudes: It’s Time for Urgent Climate Action
The majority of Americans think climate change is a serious problem, according to the latest survey by ecoAmerica. ecoAmerica also found that across political affiliations Americans agree that we need to take urgent action now to reduce the pollution that causes climate change. But do Americans think we can do anything about it? Perhaps. The nationally-representative survey finds that most Americans say climate change should be a priority for the United States. And, with climate champions faring better than expected these midterm elections, elected leaders have a clear charge to bring forth urgent climate action.
Americans View Climate Change as a Serious Problem
ecoAmerica’s survey finds that nearly 7 in 10 Americans think climate change is either a very or fairly serious problem. This includes almost half of Republicans — 19% who say it’s very serious and 28% who say it’s fairly serious. However, 20% of Republicans say they don’t believe climate change is a problem at all. The large majority of Democrats think climate change is a serious problem, including 64% who say it’s very serious. Independents align with the national average — 69% say climate change is serious, including 41% who say very and 28% who say fairly.
For a copy of the report with detailed graph descriptions, click here.
Majorities Agree on Need to Take Urgent Action to Reduce Climate Change Pollution
A high majority (85%) of Americans either strongly agree (56%) or somewhat agree (29%) that we need to take urgent action now to reduce the pollution that causes climate change. This includes a majority across all political party affiliations — 73% of Republicans, 93% of Democrats, and 83% of Independents — either strongly or somewhat agree.
Only One in Three Americans Think We Can Definitely Stop Climate Change
Climate solutions are here and available to us now. Even the newly released Lancet Countdown Report on Health and Climate provides evidence that approaching climate change with health-based solutions can drastically change future outcomes. Despite this, only 32% of Americans believe we can definitely make a difference in slowing or reducing climate change. 39% believe we might be able to slow or reduce climate change. Only 19% say we can’t stop climate change and only 10% don’t believe it’s happening at all. Democrats and Independents generally display more confidence in our ability to make a difference compared to Republicans.
Two Thirds Say Addressing Climate Change Should Be A High or Top Priority for the United States
ecoAmerica asked our sample what level of priority they think addressing climate change should be for the country. Nationally, nearly 2 in 3 say it should be a priority, with 1 in 3 Americans saying it should be a top priority and 1 in 3 saying it should be a high priority. Roughly 1 in 5 chose “medium priority” bringing the total of those who think it should be some level of priority to over 4 in 5 (84%).
Democrats prioritize addressing climate change at the highest levels with nearly half (47%) voicing that it should be a top priority and 34% a high priority for the US. Most Independents prioritize climate change with 83% voicing some level of prioritization — 24% say top priority, 38% say high priority, and 21% say medium priority. Over 1 in 3 Republicans say addressing climate change should be a high or top priority, with nearly another 1 in 3 who believe it should be a medium priority – bringing the total to 67% (a majority).
Full data featured in this blog is available in the accompanying toplines.
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ecoAmerica designed and administered this survey, which was conducted online on September 27, 2022 using Survey Monkey. The survey yielded a total of 1,076 complete adult responses and used the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to weigh the national general population and reflect the demographic composition of the US. The sample was drawn from an online panel and the respondents were screened to ensure that they were over the age of 18. The margin of error for the sample is +/-3%. In interpreting the survey results, it is important to note that all sample surveys are subject to possible sampling error. Thus, the results of a survey may differ from the results that would be obtained if the entire population was interviewed. The size of the sampling error depends upon both the total number of respondents in the survey and the percentage distribution of the responses to a particular question. For example, if 50% of the respondents in a sample of 1,066 respondents answered, “Yes” to a particular question, we can be 95% confident that the true percentage would fall within 3 points, or range from 47% to 53%.
Speiser, M., Hill, A. N. (November, 2022). American Climate Perspectives Survey 2022. Vol V. Bi-Partisan American Attitudes: It’s Time for Urgent Climate Action. ecoAmerica. Washington, DC.
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