Thursday 28th August 2014                 Change text size:

Poll says US public want action on climate change and more renewables



US climate protest - Ben Schumin via Flickr

A public opinion survey has demonstrated that most US citizens think that the country’s government should be doing more to tackle climate change.

The poll, which was conducted by Stanford University, shows that there are just four states – Montana, Idaho, Nevada and Utah – where more than half of the residents believe government efforts should not be ramped up.

However, all the states, where there was sufficient data available, felt that the government should limit the amount of greenhouse gas emissions from US businesses and reduce emissions from power plants.

Limiting emissions from businesses had the strongest support in Alabama, Wisconsin, Georgia and Arkansas, where 85% or more of survey participants in these regions agreed the government should take action to reduce the amount of emissions businesses produce.

The support for limiting emissions at power plants came from different states and varied ranging from 90% in New Hampshire to 62% in Utah.

Support for renewable energy sources was also strong with more than 50% of respondents in all states supporting tax breaks to produce renewable energy as a way to reduce future global warming. Of the 43 states where there was data available, only 12 registered below 75% in the support for renewables.

The support for cutting emissions and encouraging renewables could be linked to the high amount of respondents that believe global warming will pose a serious problem for the US, this concern was particularly strong on the east coast.

The survey demonstrated that whilst the majority of Americans believe humans have caused global warming, a significant percentage does not take this view. For example, 35% of those in Utah do not believe in manmade global warning. Arkansas, Georgia and South Carolina all saw 32% of respondents disagreeing with the statement that humans were the cause of climate change.

Another poll, conducted last year, found that the UK and US are the most sceptical about the causes of global warming. The survey across 13 countries found that when it comes to accepting manmade climate change many countries, such as Indonesia, Mexico and Hong Kong, score higher than both the UK and US.

Further reading:

Majority of climate change news stories focus on disaster and uncertainty

US and UK top climate scepticism poll

Climate sceptics attacked by Prince Charles and Ed Davey

Rupert Murdoch’s half-baked tweet regarding greening world

The ethics of climate change reporting


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