Story at a glance
- A new poll ahead of the November election asked voters about their stances on climate change.
- The poll was conducted by the Guardian, Vice Media Group and Covering Climate Now, by Climate Nexus, the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication.
Climate change may not be a partisan issue anymore, suggests a new poll by the Guardian and Vice.
Seven out of 10 voters support government action to address climate change, the Guardian reported, and three-quarters want the U.S. to generate all of its electricity from renewable sources within 15 years.
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“There may be a divide on Capitol Hill but the large majority of us are worried about climate change and want to see leaders deal with it,” said Ed Maibach, director of George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication, which collaborated on the polling. “This is the first election where climate change has featured heavily. It’s unlike anything we’ve seen in American politics before.”
The divide hasn't closed completely, with 90 percent of Democratic voters saying climate change is either a “very serious” or “somewhat serious” problem, compared to just more than half of Republican voters. And misinformation pushed by climate change deniers remains a major concern. But nearly two-thirds of respondents said they would be more likely to vote for a presidential candidate who supports the complete shift to clean energy, the Guardian reported.
President Trump has called climate science a "hoax" and his administration has repealed many Obama-era environmental regulations, on top of announcing a withdrawal from the Paris Agreement. But just more than half of Republican voters support U.S. involvement in the Paris climate accords, the Guardian reported, and 41 percent even support the Green New Deal — a Democratic plan that Republicans have criticized.
“Republican officeholders really do have to worry about this,” Maibach told the Guardian. “Young Republicans are becoming less accepting of the party line that climate change isn’t real or isn’t a serious problem. They don’t want climate denial any more, moderate Republicans don’t want climate denial any more and women voters largely don’t want to support climate denialist candidates any more either.”
A majority of Americans also support providing federal assistance to workers who lose jobs in non-renewable energy industries and increasing funding to low-income communities and communities of color at risk of environmental disasters. As part of coronavirus recovery efforts, many Americans also support generating revenue by taxing fossil fuel companies on their carbon pollution and investing in clean energy infrastructure.
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