Young Americans don’t believe the Biden administration has done enough to combat climate change or to hold oil and gas companies accountable. Young Americans particularly want to see the administration close outdated oil and gas pipelines. 64% of young Americans aged 18-34 support closing outdated oil and gas pipelines. 59% of young Americans aged 18-34 support preventing new oil drilling on federal lands and waters. 54% of young Americans aged 18-34 support halting the expansion of methane gas exports. President Biden is deeply underwater with young Americans aged 18-34. This group is twice as likely to say that Biden is doing a “poor” or “not so good” job as president (65%) as to say that he is doing a “good” or “excellent” job (32%). Biden is even further underwater with this group on his ratings for combating climate change (24% excellent or good / 59% not so good or poor) and for holding oil and gas companies accountable (15% excellent or good / 61% not so good or poor).
Americans are far more likely to support investment in solar and wind than other energy sources, and the public continues to underestimate pollution from “natural” gas. Nearly three-quarters of Americans (73%) say that the United States should be spending more on research and development of wind and solar energy in the next few years. A little over half (53%) also say that the country should invest more in next generation nuclear energy, while less than half support greater investment in the research and development of fossil fuels including oil (39%), “natural” gas (39%), and coal (31%). The public recognizes oil and coal as dirty energy sources, but continues to underestimate the pollution from “natural” gas. Clear majorities say that oil (71%) and coal (68%) contribute at least “some” to unhealthy air pollution and climate change, but only around half (52%) say that natural gas does.
To date, over 40,000 projects have been awarded funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. They range from repaving roads and water system upgrades funded through formula grants to states to competitive funding for massive bridge and transit projects. This map of signature projects is illustrative and is intended to show the far-reaching impact of the law from coast to coast. Additional projects will be added as funding announcements unfold. For a detailed look at all projects and awards to date, check out the Maps of Progress.
The United States’ Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) fails to reduce fossil fuel production or alleviate impact on environmental justice communities. Rather than set the United States on a path toward a managed phase-out of fossil fuels, the Inflation Reduction Act and the Biden administration’s policies are set to lead to a significant increase in U.S. oil and gas extraction and soaring exports. This finding makes a mockery of President Joe Biden’s claims of “climate leadership” and signals that without additional action to constrain oil and gas production, the suffering of oil and gas frontline communities will only grow. Black, Brown, Indigenous, and poor communities, especially in Appalachia, the Gulf Coast, and the Permian Basin, are disproportionately impacted by fossil fuel pollution, climate disasters, and health impacts.
Climate change ranks among the top issues for young people in the 2024 election, and young people who prioritize climate change feel especially motivated to vote. When asked to choose their top three issue priorities, the cost of living is the dominant concern for this age group: the majority of young people (53%) cite the cost of living / inflation as a top-three issue. Climate change (26%), jobs that pay a living wage (28%), and gun violence prevention (26%) form the clear next tier of priority issues for young people after the cost of living / inflation. Importantly, the poll finds that youth who prioritize climate change are poised to play an outsized role in the 2024 election because climate-motivated youth are especially politically engaged relative to their peers.
In message testing across 23 countries, our responsibility to future generations consistently ranks as the most compelling rationale for climate action. In this experiment, the narrative focused on protecting future generations produced the biggest lift in support for climate action in every country surveyed. Comparing the level of strong support (5 on a 1-5 scale) for government climate action by the groups exposed to each of these narratives, versus the control group who saw no narrative, reveals the “lift” that each narrative generates. The differences are clear. Averaged across all 23 countries, the generational urgency narrative lifts support by 11 percentage points; polluter accountability lifts support by 7 percentage points; and the climate progress narrative lifts support by just 3 percentage point. The generational urgency narrative is the winning narrative in each country, as well as overall.
Poll: Ahead of COP28, 2 in 3 Americans Want the U.S. to Take Ambitious Climate Action, Even if Other Countries Don’t
Voters say that the U.S. should take action on climate change, regardless of what other countries do. Three-quarters say that it’s important for the U.S. to demonstrate “significant” climate action to the international community. 77% of voters say that it’s important for the United States to be able to show other nations at COP28 that we are taking “significant” actions to address climate change. 73% of voters agree that the U.S. should work with other countries to combat climate change and reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. 65% of voters agree with a statement that the United States “should take ambitious action to address climate change, even if other countries do not” and that “we should lead the world on this issue and set the example for other countries to follow suit”.
Despite heavy polarization, the steady majority of voters want the country to prioritize climate change and most also want 100% clean energy. 60% of voters agree that the United States should reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, “regardless of what other countries do”. 60% of voters support providing financial aid and technical support to developing countries that agree to limit their greenhouse gas emissions. 57% of voters support providing financial aid and technical support to developing countries to help them prepare for the impacts of global warming. 64% of voters support transitioning the U.S. economy from fossil fuels to 100% clean energy by 2050. 63% of voters support requiring electric utilities to produce 100% of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2035.
California has been investing in a clean energy transition for decades, and, in recent years, has increasingly targeted funds to under-resourced and marginalized communities. Other states and the federal government have likewise stepped up. There is much to learn from California’s considerable experience. Our report series analyzes California’s decision-making structures — the processes that determine priorities and the mechanisms that turn broad justice principles into action. Our analysis and recommendations are intended to improve California’s programs, help emerging state programs consider the strengths and weaknesses of California’s institutional landscape, and influence emerging federal funding mechanisms.
Open with a shared value. Reference race in the shared value. State a problem after the shared value. Name villains who use racial scapegoating or division as a weapon that hurts all of us. Uplift victories and/or everyday collective actions that solve problems(s) across race. Focus on tangible outcomes, not policies or procedures. Give a clear call to action. Share what we are for without repeating the opposition’s language. Use simple, everyday language.