Most in US see climate as important issue: poll

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A majority of Americans regard climate change as a problem of high importance to them, according to a new poll that shows perceptions of the issue have changed significantly over the last several years. 

Three in 4 Americans believe that climate change is happening and 41 percent think it’s caused mostly by human activities, a new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago found.

Only a small minority — 10 percent — of Americans believe climate change is not happening. 

The data also shows that more than half of those surveyed would support a bill that increases “the share of clean electricity sources and decreases reliance on traditional sources like coal and natural gas.”

Only 16 percent of Americans opposed such a measure for electricity from cleaner energy.

President Biden initially included such climate legislation measures in legislation before Congress that would reward utilities with clean energy sources and fine those without.

However, the carbon tax at the center of Biden’s climate agenda was opposed by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and put the Democrats’ entire infrastructure and social spending agenda at risk.

A significant number of those polled — 59 percent — also said they believe that the rate of climate change is increasing while a minority — 35 percent — say it’s staying the same. 

The survey also gauged whether Americans were amenable to paying to combat climate change and found that at least half are willing to pay more for energy use.

The poll’s release comes as world leaders gather next week in Glasgow, Scotland, for the United Nations climate summit. It was conducted Sept. 8-24 among 5,468 adults and has a margin of error of 1.7 points.

Tags Carbon tax Climate change COP26 green energy Joe Biden Joe Manchin Polling

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