Energy & Environment

6 in 10 blame oil companies for climate change: poll

A poll released today found that 60 percent of Americans view oil and gas companies as “completely or mostly responsible” for global warming. 

The poll from The Guardian, YouGov, Vice News and Covering Climate Now showed that most Americans want to see these companies face accountability for their contributions to global warming. 

The fossil fuel industry has long attempted to deny climate science despite the Environmental Protection Agency noting that “burning fossil fuels changes the climate more than any other human activity.”

In the U.S., the survey showed divisions along party lines in terms of acknowledging the climate crisis at all. A total of 69 percent of U.S. adults who took part in the survey agreed that global warming was happening. However, when divided by party, 89 percent of Democrats agreed about the reality of global warming compared to 42 percent of Republicans.

The scientific origins of the climate crisis were also a point of division, according to the poll. 

Nearly 70 percent Democrats believed global warming has been caused by humans compared to 22 percent of Republicans who shared that belief. 

The Guardian reported that these findings seemed to align with public demands that some oil companies fund solutions for environmental problems caused by burning fossil fuels. After being told that fossil fuel companies knew about their products’ impact on climate change, most Americans agreed that oil companies should take on some financial responsibility for their actions, per the poll.

Specifically, 60 percent of all respondents said oil companies should help fund infrastructure updates to ensure structures can withstand the extreme weather caused by climate change. However, this belief was divided along party lines, as only 38 percent of Republicans thought the companies should bear financial responsibilities for infrastructure updates compared to 84 percent of Democrats.

Oil companies face dozens of lawsuits surrounding the issue, according to The Guardian.

The poll surveyed 1,000 U.S. adults from Oct. 7 through 13 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.  

Tags Climate change poll

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