Public Resource
Environmental Polling Roundup - September 15th, 2023
David Gold, Environmental Polling Consortium

This post includes climate and environment headlines, data points, and key takeaways from recent public polls - including new polling on support for climate justice policies, the EPA and FDA, climate impacts, and climate as a top priority among young people.



Yale + GMU
Americans are largely unfamiliar with the concept of “climate justice,” but support the goals of climate justice and key climate justice policies when they learn about them [ReleaseFull Report]

Data for Progress
Halted EPA and FDA site inspections rank among voters’ greatest concerns about a federal government shutdown [ArticleCrosstabs]

Majorities of Americans say that climate change is caused by humans and contributing to recent extreme weather events [ReleaseReport + Crosstabs]

[Youth] American University
Climate and the environment are top issues for young Americans in the 2024 elections [ArticleWebsiteFull Report]



Americans are inclined to support climate justice, but they need much more education about it. Consistent with other polling we’ve seen on climate and environmental justice, Yale and George Mason find that Americans tend to support the goals of climate justice even though they are largely unfamiliar with “climate justice” as a concept. Additionally, Americans do not widely understand or recognize that climate change has a disproportionate impact on certain groups. In particular, recognition of the racial disparities in the impacts of climate change is quite low. While these findings show that the public needs much more basic education about climate injustice and the need to remedy it, voters already support a wide range of climate actions that are targeted to low-income communities and communities of color – including increasing federal funding and strengthening the enforcement of pollution limits in communities that have disproportionately been impacted by air and water pollution.

The public is concerned about the health and safety consequences of a government shutdown, in addition to the economic consequences. Data for Progress finds that halting the EPA and FDA’s site inspections for human and environmental safety risks is one of the most concerning consequences of a federal government shutdown, presenting a compelling environmental connection for advocates who wish to communicate about the prospective shutdown in terms of environmental protection. For advocates with the scope to communicate about the dangers of a shutdown in broader terms, other polling has found that voters are persuaded by arguments that the shutdown would stop or delay benefits for popular government programs like Social Security, nutrition assistance, and veterans’ benefits.



[Climate Justice + Green Spaces] 81% of voters support creating more parks and green spaces in low-income communities and communities of color [Yale + GMU]
[Climate Justice + Pollution] 77% of voters support strengthening enforcement of industrial pollution limits in low-income communities and communities of color that are disproportionately impacted by air and water pollution [Yale + GMU]

[Climate Justice + Jobs] 75% of voters support developing a national program to train people from low-income communities and communities of color for new jobs in the renewable energy industry [Yale + GMU]
[Climate Justice] 53% of voters support the goals of climate justice after reading a brief description of the concept [Yale + GMU]
[Government Shutdown] 71% of voters are concerned that a government shutdown would halt site inspections by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for potential human and environmental safety risks [Data for Progress]

[Climate Change Concerns] 67% of Americans are concerned about climate change, including 41% who are “very” concerned [Quinnipiac]

[Climate Change Causes] 59% of Americans believe that recent climate change is primarily caused by human activity [Quinnipiac]
[Climate Change + Extreme Weather] 58% of Americans believe that the extreme weather events in the United States over the past few years are related to climate change [Quinnipiac]
[Issue Priority] More Americans name climate change and the environment as the single “most important issue” to them than any other issue aside from inflation/prices, health care, and the economy/jobs [The Economist + YouGov]