Poll: 64% of Americans Believe Reducing Carbon Emissions Should Be a Priority
The latest University of Texas Energy Poll found broad support among Americans for collaborative action against climate change. 43 percent said they feel “climate change is an urgent threat and all countries need to take action equally.” But perhaps surprisingly, an even greater number (48 percent) said they felt the U.S. should do more than other nations. The reasons varied – some felt it was because the U.S. is a global leader, some because we have a moral obligation to act, and others because we have contributed more emissions than other countries. But the consensus that, as a nation, we have a responsibility to fight climate change was very strong.
This growing sense of urgency may be due to a greater awareness of climate impacts – 71 percent of respondents said they were concerned (and 40 percent very concerned) about increasing global temperatures. And nearly 2/3 of respondents said lowering carbon emissions from fossil fuels should be a priority for the U.S.
Despite the Supreme Court’s recent stay of the Clean Power Plan and the dismissal of climate change by most GOP presidential candidates, the American people understand that climate change is a threat and support strong global and national action. We need to help ensure that their voices are heard, and that the many benefits of clean energy are made clear, so that the arguments in favor of climate action are too strong to be ignored.
By Bill Dawson, founding editor of Texas Climate News
Coming just a few weeks after nearly 200 nations agreed in Paris on a sweeping international plan to combat climate change in December, the latest University of Texas Energy Poll has found extremely wide support for such climate action in the U.S. The results were released Thursday.
“We’re seeing strong support for collaborative efforts among nations to combat the effects of climate change,” said Sheril Kirshenbaum, director of the semiannual survey.
A vast majority of respondents, who were surveyed in January, said they supported action against climate change in the latest version of the semiannual UT Energy Poll.
For the first time since the national poll was launched in 2011, participants were provided several statements describing possible U.S. roles in addressing global climate change and asked which one best reflects their own opinion.
The largest number – 43 percent – picked this statement: “Climate change is an urgent threat and all countries need to take action equally.”
Image credit: Brandon Watts / Flickr