Xem thêm

More Americans Prioritize Climate Change, with Democrats Leading the Way

Climate change has become a pressing issue in the 2020 Democratic primary season, as candidates discuss ways to address this growing national concern. While many Americans now see climate change as a priority, there are...

Climate change has become a pressing issue in the 2020 Democratic primary season, as candidates discuss ways to address this growing national concern. While many Americans now see climate change as a priority, there are noticeable differences in opinions between Democrats and Republicans. Let's take a closer look at these views.

Increasing Priority Among Americans

A growing number of Americans believe that addressing climate change should be a top priority for the president and Congress. Over the past four years, the percentage of Americans who consider climate change a priority has risen from 38% to 52%. However, this increase is primarily driven by Democrats and independents who lean towards the Democratic Party. Among this group, a staggering 78% believe that climate change should be a top priority, a significant 22 percentage point increase since 2016. In contrast, there has been no statistically significant increase among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents. Democrats are more than three times as likely as Republicans to prioritize climate change (78% vs. 21%).

Environment rises as a priority, but partisan gap persists Image Source: Pew Research Center

Democrats' Consensus on Climate Change

Among Democratic registered voters, a near-consensus exists on the significance of climate change for the United States. More than nine-in-ten Democratic voters supporting any of the five leading candidates for their party's nomination believe that climate change is at least a moderately big problem for the country today, with three-quarters or more describing it as a very big problem. While there are some differences in the level of concern among supporters of different candidates, the majority of Democratic voters agree on the urgency of addressing climate change. On the other hand, only 41% of Republican registered voters, including those who lean towards the GOP, consider climate change a moderately or very big problem for the country.

Shared concern over climate change among Democratic primary supporters Image Source: Pew Research Center

Government Action and Divergent Opinions

Most Democrats believe that the federal government is not doing enough to combat the effects of climate change. In contrast, Republicans' opinions on this issue vary depending on ideology, generation, and gender. Overall, two-thirds of Americans feel that the federal government's efforts to address climate change are insufficient. This sentiment is most pronounced among Democrats, with 90% expressing dissatisfaction, while only 39% of Republicans share this concern.

Majorities of Americans say the federal government is not doing enough to protect the climate, environment Image Source: Pew Research Center

Partisan Divide on Climate Policies

Conservative Republicans tend to be skeptical about the effectiveness of climate change policies. Only 25% of conservative Republicans believe that such policies do more good than harm for the environment, while 47% think they make no difference, and 26% believe they do more harm than good. In contrast, a majority of liberal Democrats (81%) believe that climate change policies have net benefits for the environment. Furthermore, conservative Republicans are less likely than other political groups to believe that specific policy proposals can effectively reduce the effects of climate change.

Partisans at odds over effects of climate policies on environment, economy Image Source: Pew Research Center

Climate Change and Local Communities

The impact of climate change on local communities is a shared concern among Americans, but the level of concern varies significantly between Democrats and Republicans. Approximately 62% of U.S. adults state that climate change is affecting their local community to some degree, with 22% indicating a great deal of impact. However, Democrats (82%) are much more likely than Republicans (38%) to perceive climate change as impacting their community.

The geographical location also influences people's perceptions, with those residing in the Pacific region more likely to report climate change effects on their communities compared to those living in the Mountain region. These differences persist even after accounting for party affiliation.

A majority of U.S. adults say climate change is affecting their local community at least some Image Source: Pew Research Center

Conclusion

As climate change continues to gain prominence, more Americans are recognizing it as a priority. However, significant disparities exist between Democrats and Republicans in their levels of concern and priorities regarding climate change. Democrats are more likely to prioritize climate change action, while Republicans exhibit more varied views. Bridging this partisan divide will be crucial in addressing the challenges posed by climate change and working towards sustainable solutions that benefit both the environment and the economy.

1