Earth Day 2022: Individuals’ views of local weather change, renewable power


Protesters advocate for carbon neutrality throughout the Hold the Promise rally in Bloomington, Indiana, in March 2021. (Jeremy Hogan/SOPA Pictures/LightRocket through Getty Pictures)

On April 22, folks all over the world commemorate Earth Day with occasions that decision consideration to a variety of environmental considerations, particularly world local weather change.

To mark the event, right here’s a take a look at what latest Pew Analysis Heart surveys have discovered about Individuals’ views on local weather change and renewable power sources.

The information for this put up was drawn from a number of Pew Analysis Heart surveys. Most findings are from a Heart survey of 10,237 U.S. adults performed from Jan. 24 to 30, 2022.

Everybody who took half within the surveys is a member of the Heart’s American Developments Panel (ATP), a web based survey panel that’s recruited by nationwide, random sampling of residential addresses. This permits for almost all U.S. adults to have an opportunity of choice. The surveys are weighted to be consultant of the U.S. grownup inhabitants by gender, race, ethnicity, partisan affiliation, training and different classes. Learn extra concerning the ATP’s methodology.

About four-in-ten U.S. adults (42%) say that coping with local weather change must be a prime precedence for President Joe Biden and Congress to handle this 12 months, in response to a Heart survey performed in January 2022. Whereas fewer Individuals fee coping with local weather change as a prime precedence than say the identical concerning the different 17 points within the survey, Democrats and people underneath age 30 are extra possible than different Individuals to view it as a prime precedence.

A bar chart showing that Democrats and younger Americans identify dealing with climate change as a top policy priority

Roughly two-thirds of Democrats and independents who lean towards the Democratic Social gathering (65%) say addressing local weather change must be a prime precedence for Biden and Congress, in contrast with simply 11% of Republicans and GOP leaners.

A 54% majority of adults underneath 30 say world local weather change must be a prime precedence, in contrast with smaller shares of Individuals ages 30 to 49 (42%), ages 50 to 64 (36%) and ages 65 and older (39%).

A bar chart showing that 46% of Americans say human activity contributes a great deal to climate change and 29% say some

Three-quarters of Individuals say that human exercise, such because the burning of fossil fuels, contributes to local weather change at the very least some, with 46% saying it contributes a fantastic deal, a separate January 2022 Heart survey discovered. A couple of quarter of Individuals (24%) say the burning of fossil fuels and different human exercise contributes not an excessive amount of or by no means to local weather change. Views on this query have held principally regular lately.

Democrats and Republicans have very completely different views on this matter. A big majority of Democrats say human exercise contributes a fantastic deal to local weather change (71%), whereas simply 17% of Republicans say the identical. Bigger shares of Republicans say human exercise contributes some to local weather change (39%) or that it contributes not an excessive amount of or by no means (44%).

A bar chart showing that Democrats and Republicans disagree on the impact of climate change policies on the economy and environment

Individuals typically view insurance policies geared toward decreasing the results of worldwide local weather change nearly as good for the atmosphere, however are break up on whether or not they assist the economic system, in response to the identical January 2022 survey. A slim majority of Individuals (56%) say that insurance policies geared toward addressing local weather change typically do extra good than hurt for the atmosphere. Simply 18% say they typically do extra hurt, and 24% say these insurance policies don’t make a distinction for the atmosphere.

About as many Individuals say these insurance policies typically assist the U.S. economic system as harm it (37% and 35%, respectively), whereas 27% say they suppose these insurance policies make no distinction for the economic system. The share of Individuals saying local weather insurance policies assist the U.S. economic system is up 7 share factors over the past 4 years, pushed by extra optimistic assessments amongst Democrats. 

A bar chart showing that a majority favors the U.S. taking steps to become carbon neutral by 2050

In relation to particular insurance policies, 69% of U.S. adults favor the US taking steps to grow to be carbon impartial by 2050 – that’s, releasing no extra carbon dioxide into the ambiance than is eliminated, the January 2022 survey discovered. About three-in-ten Individuals (28%) say they oppose this coverage. Carbon neutrality has been a key part of the Biden administration’s local weather and power coverage agenda.

Once more, there are broad gaps amongst partisans. The overwhelming majority of Democrats (90%) favor the U.S. taking steps to grow to be carbon impartial by 2050. In distinction, barely greater than half (53%) of Republicans oppose this objective, whereas 44% favor it.

A bar chart showing that majorities prioritize alternative energy development and back U.S. taking steps to become carbon neutral

About seven-in-ten Individuals (69%) prioritize growing various power sources, comparable to wind and photo voltaic, over increasing the manufacturing of oil, coal and pure gasoline, in response to the identical survey, which was performed previous to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and a subsequent enhance in gasoline and different power costs. Three-in-ten Individuals say increasing exploration and manufacturing of oil, coal and pure gasoline must be a extra necessary precedence than growing various power sources.

Most Individuals don’t wish to see fossil fuels completely eradicated from the U.S. power provide. Two-thirds of adults say the nation ought to use a mixture of fossil fuels and renewable power sources, whereas a couple of third (31%) say the nation ought to part out the usage of oil, coal and pure gasoline utterly.

A bar chart showing that both party coalitions have internal differences over energy policy

Ideological divides exist inside each partisan coalitions over some power insurance policies, the January 2022 survey discovered. Within the GOP, for instance, a 3rd of conservative Republicans and GOP leaners favor the U.S. taking steps to grow to be carbon impartial, whereas 64% oppose it. Amongst reasonable and liberal Republicans, against this, opinions are the reverse: 66% favor this objective, whereas 32% oppose it.

There’s a related ideological divide amongst Democrats in relation to the stability between fossil fuels and renewable power. About six-in-ten liberal Democrats (63%) say the U.S. ought to part out fossil fuels utterly, in contrast with 36% preferring the nation use a mixture of fossil fuels and renewables. Amongst reasonable and conservative Democrats, by comparability, 37% help the U.S. phasing out fossil fuels utterly, in contrast with 61% preferring a mixture of fossil fuels and renewables.

Three-quarters of Individuals help the U.S. collaborating in worldwide efforts to assist scale back the results of local weather change, the January 2022 survey discovered. A couple of quarter of Individuals (24%) oppose this.

A bar chart showing that three-quarters of Americans support U.S. participation in international climate change efforts

There’s much less consensus over whether or not the U.S. has a duty to offer monetary help to assist growing economies construct renewable power sources as a part of worldwide efforts to scale back the results of worldwide local weather change. Round six-in-ten U.S. adults (59%) say the U.S. doesn’t have this duty, whereas 39% say it does.

Trying forward, round half of Individuals (53%) say it’s unlikely that nations all over the world, together with the U.S., will collectively do sufficient to keep away from the worst impacts from local weather change, the identical January survey reveals. A smaller share (36%) says collective motion globally will possible be sufficient to keep away from the worst impacts from local weather change, whereas one other 10% say they don’t view local weather change impacts as an issue.

A bar chart showing that 53% think it’s unlikely U.S. and other countries will do enough to avoid worst impacts from climate change



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