Survey Finds Majority of Voters Support Initiatives to Fight Climate Change

John SchwartzBy John Schwartz – Jan. 15, 2021


From left, an electric car charging station at a Walgreens in Sacramento; porcupine caribou crossing the Niguanak River in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska; and a wind turbine near Shenandoah, Pa.Credit…From left, Max Whittaker for The New York Times; Kenneth Whitten/Alaska Stock/Design Pics Inc., via Alamy; Brandon Thibodeaux for The New York Times


A majority of registered voters of both parties in the United States support initiatives to fight climate change, including many that are outlined in the climate plans announced by President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr, according to a new survey.

The survey, which was conducted after the presidential election, suggests that a majority of Americans in both parties want a government that deals forcefully with climate change instead of denying its urgency — or denying that it exists at all.

In the survey, published Friday by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication, 53 percent of registered voters said that global warming should be a high or very high priority for the president and Congress, and 66 percent said that developing sources of clean energy should be a high or very high priority.

Eight in 10 supported achieving those ends by providing tax breaks to people who buy electric vehicles or solar panels, and by investing in renewable energy research.

“These results show there’s very strong public support for bold, ambitious action on climate change and clean energy,” said Anthony Leiserowitz, who heads the Yale program. That suggests an opening for bipartisan legislation backed by lawmakers’ constituents.

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