Jun 24, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Most Americans think the federal government is doing too little on climate change

Reproduced from Pew Research Center; Chart: Axios Visuals

Roughly two-thirds (65%) of adults say the federal government is doing too little to curb the effects of climate change, according to Pew Research polling.

Why it matters: Overall, the poll finds both persistently deep partisan divides on climate and energy, but also some areas of agreement on policy.

The big picture: There are some areas of overlap between Democrats and Republicans on policy, which could become more relevant after the 2020 election.

  • But like many other polls, it also shows deep divides.

By the numbers: 89% of adults who are Democrats (or lean that way) say the government is doing too little on climate, compared to 35% of Republicans or Republican-leaners.

  • 79% of adults say energy policy should emphasize the development of "alternative" sources like wind and solar, including 45% of Republicans and nearly all Democrats.
  • Overall, 56% of Republicans favor more fracking, compared to 21% of Democrats. The poll shows a drop in Republican support for more coal mining, but it's still at 54%, compared to 16% among Democrats.
  • "About seven-in-ten Democrats (72%) say human activity contributes a great deal to climate change, compared with roughly two-in-ten Republicans (22%), a difference of 50 percentage points," it states.
  • A quick reminder: The scientific consensus is that human activity is the overwhelming driver of global warming since the mid-20th century.

Of note: The overall survey of nearly 11,000 U.S. adults conducted between April 9 and May 5 has a margin of error of ± 1.4%.

  • It's higher for responses broken down by party, age, race, gender and education, and you can find those margins here.
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