Energy & Environment

Among GOP, Catholics more likely to believe in climate change

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Republican Catholics are more likely than the rest of the GOP to believe climate change is happening and support policies to fight it, researchers said.

The Yale University Project on Climate Change Communication released the analysis Friday, the day after Pope Francis released an encyclical urging action against climate change.

{mosads}Research collected between 2012 and 2015 found that 51 percent of Catholic Republicans believe global warming is happening, compared with 42 percent of non-Catholic Republicans and 44 percent of the rest of the GOP.

Catholic Republicans are also more likely to believe that climate change is caused mostly by humans, with 36 percent endorsing that idea, compared with 30 percent of non-Catholic Republicans.

“These differences between Catholics and non-Catholics are unique to Republicans; that is, we see far fewer differences between Catholic and non-Catholic Democrats and Independents on these issues,” the Yale researchers said in their Friday post.

Yale’s research, based on data it gathered along with George Mason University, found that Catholic Republicans are more likely than non-Catholics to be worried about climate change, endorse various policies to stop it and believe that most scientists agree that the climate is changing.

Pope Francis is scheduled to visit Washington and Philadelphia this September and to address Congress.

About one-fifth of Americans are Catholic, making it the second-most popular religion, behind evangelical protestants and people who are religiously unaffiliated, according to the Pew Research Center.

Tags Climate change

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