Majority of Americans say government needs to up climate action efforts


The vast majority of Americans believe the country’s government must take further action to reduce the effects of climate change and protect air quality, clean water and biodiversity, with votes in early primary states also urging the phasing out of oil production, according to two polls conducted by the Pew Research Center.

The most recent of the two polls “broke down along party lines, with 90% of those who identified as Democrats saying they believe the federal government is doing ‘too little’ to address climate change and just 39% of self-identifying Republicans saying the same,” according to a report by the The Hill.

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“However, Republicans within the millennial and younger generations showed more concern than their older counterparts, with about 52% of those between the age of 18 and 38 saying they think the federal government isn’t doing enough to fight climate change, compared to 41% of Generation X respondents and 31% of the Baby Boomer and older group.”

According to results, there is “a growing national trend of Americans concerned about the effects of climate change and how opinions on how best to act have split the political parties and various generations,” the Washington Beltway publication added. “A number of polls this year have shown that climate change has grown as a top issue among Democratic voters, making climate action a top speaking point within the Democratic primaries.”

The Pew Center also found that approximately three-quarters of Americans, 90% of Democrats, and the majority of Republican supporters (two-thirds of female Republican party supporters and 58% of male supporters) consider the development of wind, solar, hydrogen, and other alternative energy sources as a priority over fossil fuels. 

According to the same Pew poll, 80% of Americans acknowledge the effects of human activities on climate change, with 50% indicating their belief that human behaviour contributes significantly to worsening climate conditions

Just recently, Greenpeace USA reported that two-thirds of voters in the first four states to hold presidential primaries next year, namely Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina, would support the end of fossil fuel extraction. 

“Of those in favor of ending the era of coal, oil, and gas, fully half support starting right away,” writes Jack Shapiro, project lead for the organization’s climate leadership project.