Public Resource

Poll: Exploring support for climate justice policies in the United States

Jennifer Carman, Danning (Leilani) Lu, Joshua Low, Anthony Leiserowitz, Kristin Barendregt-Ludwig, Jennifer Marlon, Seth Rosenthal, Matthew Goldberg, Edward Maibach, John Kotcher and Gerald Torres. Yale Program on Climate Change Communication

Overall, seven in ten people in the U.S. (70%) support transitioning the U.S. economy (including electric utilities, transportation, buildings, and industry) from fossil fuels to 100% clean energy by 2050. About two in three Americans (68%) support increasing funding to low-income communities and communities of color who are disproportionately harmed by air and water pollution. About eight in ten Americans (79%) support providing federal funding to make residential buildings in low-income communities more energy efficient. About six in ten people in the U.S. (61%) think increasing production of clean energy in the U.S. will produce more new jobs than will increasing fossil fuel production, while about four in ten (38%) think the opposite (that increasing fossil fuel production will create more jobs than will increasing clean energy production). About eight in ten Americans support re-establishing the Civilian Conservation Corps, which would employ workers to protect natural ecosystems, plant trees in rural and urban areas, and restore the soil on farmlands (83%), creating a jobs program to hire unemployed oil and gas workers to safely close down abandoned oil and gas wells (81%), and creating a jobs program that would hire unemployed coal workers to safely close down old coal mines and restore the natural landscape (81%). While a majority of nearly all major demographic groups supports these climate justice-related policies, support is consistently higher among Black respondents, Hispanic/Latino respondents, and respondents from all other non-white racial groups (i.e., Asian, American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander, as well as people who identify with two or more racial groups) compared with white, non-Hispanic/Latino respondents. Nevertheless, the differences in support among different race/ethnicity groups are relatively small, especially for policies to create climate-friendly jobs.