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Data: Morning Consult; Chart: Axios Visuals

Several new polls help to show where the public's at on energy and climate as Biden takes office.

Why it matters: People tend to favor emissions-cutting and low-carbon energy initiatives, but it's hardly top of mind.

Driving the news: A new Morning Consult poll showed registered voters' support Biden taking steps including...

  • Rejoining the Paris deal (56% support vs. 25% in opposition).
  • Requiring public companies to disclose emissions and climate risk info (63% support vs. 19% in opposition).
  • Imposing methane emissions limits on oil-and-gas operations (55% support vs. 23% in opposition).
  • Big public investments in electric vehicle charging (54% support vs. 24% in opposition).

Separately, the New York Times reports on post-election polling from Yale and George Mason universities.

  • "66 percent said that developing sources of clean energy should be a high or very high priority," the NYT reports.
  • Eight in 10 people back tax breaks for people who buy solar panels or electric cars.
  • The same share back a program that would hire out-of-work coal miners to shut down old mines safely and restore the landscape.

But, but, but: Climate and energy policy are not at the top of poll respondents' list of concerns and interests. The chart above shows Morning Consult findings there.

  • New Associated Press polling shows that 68% of adults named the economy as one of the top five things they want the government to work on.
  • In the open-ended questioning, 24% listed climate change — well behind health care and the pandemic.
  • CBS News polling released Saturday found that 4% of adults said climate should be Biden's top priority.
  • They were given a menu that also included the economy, the pandemic, political divisions, health care, race relations and illegal immigration.

Quick take: With economic concerns paramount, look for Biden officials to keep promoting their agenda as a way to create jobs in low-carbon sectors.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jan 29, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Pew survey provides snapshot of immense partisan divide over climate

Reproduced from Pew Research Center; Chart: Axios Visuals

New Pew Research Center polling underscores the immense difference in how much Democrats are concerned about climate change compared to Republicans.

Driving the news: The chart above shows the five issue areas with the largest partisan gaps in Pew's survey of what U.S. adults want the federal government to prioritize this year.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Here come Earmarks 2.0

DeLauro at a hearing in May 2020. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The House Appropriations Committee is preparing to restore a limited version of earmarks, which give lawmakers power to direct spending to their districts to pay for special projects.

Why it matters: A series of scandals involving members in both parties prompted a moratorium on earmarks in 2011. But Democrats argue it's worth the risk to bring them back because earmarks would increase their leverage to pass critical legislation with a narrow majority, especially infrastructure and spending bills.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Energy & Environment

UN says Paris carbon-cutting plans fall far short

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Nations' formal emissions-cutting pledges are collectively way too weak to put the world on track to meet the Paris climate deal's temperature-limiting target, a United Nations tally shows.

Driving the news: This morning the UN released an analysis of the most recent nationally determined contributions (NDCs) — that is, countries' medium-term emissions targets submitted under the 2015 pact.