Majority ranks climate action low on priority list

Action on climate change is coming in second to last on the priority list for the U.S. public, according to a new Pew Research poll.

The poll, which surveyed 1,504 adults across the United States in January, found that only 29 percent think that dealing with global warming should be a top priority for President Obama and Congress in 2014.

ADVERTISEMENT
Compared to other countries, the U.S. doesn't consider climate change as a major threat.

Across the 39 countries questioned last year, a median of 54 percent believe climate change is a major threat to their country, while only 40 percent in the U.S. said it was a major threat.

Similarly, in a poll released by The Wall Street Journal and NBC on Tuesday only 27 percent said government action on climate change should be an "absolute priority" for 2014.

And 41 percent of the 800 surveyed say addressing the issue can be delayed until next year.

Although green groups dispute the notion that the government must pick between the economy or climate change, the gap appears to remain present.

A majority ranked "creating jobs" as the top priority for Obama and Congress. Roughly 91 percent put it down as an "absolute priority" for 2014.

Still, Obama will likely mention pillars of his climate agenda in the State of the Union speech Tuesday evening, as it represents a crucial aspect of his second-term legacy.