POLL: Two-Thirds of Americans Think Government Should Do More on Climate

Pew Research Center
  • 63% of U.S. adults say global climate change is affecting their community, with 24% responding it is affecting their community "a great deal"
  • 60% view climate change as a "major threat" to the well-being of the U.S. - as high percentage of respondents taking this view as in any Pew Research Center survey going back to 2009
  • 65% say the Federal government is doing "too little" to reduce effects of climate change
  • 79% think the U.S. should prioritize developing alternative energy sources and 58% say government regulations will be necessary to encourage businesses and individuals to rely more on renewable energy (vs. 39% who think the private marketplace will ensure this change in habits)
  • Respondents support a range of polices to address climate change, including:
    • Planting about a trillion trees (90%)
    • Providing a tax credit to businesses for developing carbon capture/storage (84%)
    • Tougher restrictions on power plant carbon emissions (80%)
    • Taxing corporations based on carbon emissions (73%)
    • Tougher fuel efficiency standards for cars (71%)

While partisanship remains the predominant dividing line in many views of climate and the environment, there are meaningful differences within party coalitions. Republicans and Republican leaners who describe their political views as moderate or liberal (roughly a third of all Republicans and leaners) are much more likely than conservative Republicans to see local impacts of climate change, support policies to address it and say the federal government is doing too little in areas of environmental protection. Further, younger generations and women in the GOP tend to be more critical of government action on the environment than their older and male counterparts. Republican women also are more supportive of polices aimed at reducing the impacts of climate change than GOP men.

Climate Impacts

How is climate change affecting people now and how will it affect us in the future?

Climate Impacts
Climate Solutions

How do we promote clean energy, energy efficiency, and other supportive policies?

Climate Solutions

How do different segments of the public think about, and respond to, climate change?

Measuring Progress

How do we gauge the impact of public education and mobilization efforts?

Measuring Progress
Access: Public