Poll: 40 percent see climate change as ‘major threat’ to US

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American respondents said the biggest threats to the U.S. were “North Korea’s nuclear program” at 59 percent. Fifty-six percent feared the threat of “Islamic extremist groups,” with 54 percent citing concerns over “Iran’s nuclear program.”

Climate change was seen as the biggest threat to their countries by those in Latin America, where 65 percent expressed concern.  It was also seen as the top threat to those in Canada, at 54 percent, and those in the Asia/Pacific region, where 56 percent called it a major concern for their countries.

The poll’s findings come as President Obama is set to unveil a broad set of executive actions over climate change including new rules to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants.

Obama will share his plan in a speech on Tuesday and include measures to enhance trade of climate-friendly goods, better deploy renewable energy resources, and help regions address extreme weather conditions.

The plan is intended to bypass Congress, where major bills on climate have stalled.

Pew surveyed respondents from 39 countries and has a 3.5 percent margin of error for the U.S. poll.