Resources

Search below for resources covering the intersection of climate engagement, social science and data analytics.

RESULTS

Research & Articles
06-03-2021

Key findings of a survey (phone and online) of US voters, with oversamples in key states include:

  • Voters across the political spectrum overwhelmingly support government investments in clean energy technologies in order to rebuild the economy (77%), create good jobs (76%), and eliminate the carbon emissions that cause climate change (75%). 
  • There's a widespread belief (75%) that investing in clean energy technologies will have economic benefits – including for "regular people." 
  • And also that by developing new clean technologies, we can replace many of the manufacturing and other blue-collar jobs that the country has lost over the last few decades (72%)
  • Strong support for various approaches to boost and develop specific clean energy technologies such as clean steel and cement, clean jet fuels, and energy storage and transmission.
  • Voters support investing $75 billion in clean energy tech RD&D as part of the upcoming infrastructure bill.         

Accelerating the transition to EVs

Carina Barnett-Loro, Climate Advocacy Lab
Research & Articles
05-19-2021

President Biden sped around in a new Ford F-150 Lightning earlier this week proclaiming, “This sucker’s quick!”

Of course, we’ve also seen a “quick” acceleration in the electric vehicle space over the past few months, with Biden calling for huge investments in EVs and charging infrastructure as part of the American Jobs Plan and numerous automakers announcing plans to phase out production of gas vehicles. The last time our team examined insights around transportation electrification*, the Trump administration was challenging California’s clean car standards. Today, that effort is dead and more than a dozen states have adopted the standards and are moving forward with policy implementation. Yay for progress!

However, even with momentum (and renewed concern about the price and availability of gas, with the recent Colonial Pipeline cyber-attack), fewer than 1% of U.S. cars are electric. Analysts project sales of gasoline-powered vehicles need to end by 2035 if we want a fully electric fleet by 2050, requiring a much more ambitious timeline than current policies dictate.

This week, we dig into insights from a slew of recent polling and messaging research that helps us understand how to structure campaigns that build the public and political will necessary for a just transition to clean cars – while also recognizing the importance of reducing vehicle miles traveled overall and ending our dependence on single-occupancy vehicles.

Survey of California voters’ views on climate change, renewable energy, infrastructure, and transportation found that a majority of Californians believe the state should act more quickly to address climate change, see economic promise in renewable energy; and support a range of policies to move away from fossil fuels.

  • 67% believe that the State should act quicker to address climate change.
  • 75% believe climate change is an "extremely," "very," or "somewhat serious" problem facing California and 38% categorize it an “extremely serious problem”. 
  • A majority of Californians support a range of policies to move away from fossil fuels, including providing energy upgrades to schools, libraries, and community centers; funding clean transit infrastructure, wildlife protection, and water resilience through the issuing of bonds; and policies which bring clean energy to homes.
  • A solid majority of Californians also support a variety of zero-emission transportation policies, including ones that would cut pollution near ports and warehouses and transition the state to a zero-emissions truck and bus fleet within the next 15 years. 
  • By an 11-point margin, voters see more harms from fossil fuel infrastructure than benefits and half of California voters (50%) say that they would be less likely to vote for their state legislator if that official took campaign funds from fossil fuel companies.

Research & Articles
05-12-2021

  • Americans' views on whether they would buy an electric car are split relatively evenly, with 30% of respondents saying they "would consider it," 33% saying they "might consider it," and 37% saying they would not consider it.
  • When asked why they would not consider buying an electric car, top answers people gave were they feeling like electrics cars "cost too much" (63%), "can't go far enough on a charge" (60%), and that there aren't enough charging stations on the road (61%). 
  • Partisanship also appears to play a role, with respondents who identify as Democrats a lot more likely to at least say they'd buy an electric car than those who identify as Republicans, regardless of whether they live in rural, urban, or suburban areas.
  • 64% think recent announcements from car makers that they are shifting to making mostly (or all) electric cars is a "good idea." 
  • While many more people (41%) think U.S. policy should encourage people to buy electric cars than to buy gasoline cars (11%), a plurality of respondents (4*%) believe the U.S. policy should "not take a position."

  • A broad majority (69%) of New Yorkers support levying a tax on corporate polluters, where the revenue (estimated $15 billion raised per year) would be used to invest in new renewable energy projects, community sustainability initiatives, and fossil fuel workers impacted by the transition to clean energy.
  • Support for specific investments is also high:
    • 65% support investing funds in large-scale renewable energy projects, like offshore wind farms and mass transit overhauls
    • 63% support investing in low-income communities and communities of color to improve their climate resiliency and sustainability
    • 73% support investing in programs for workers and communities impacted by the transition away from coal, oil, and gas

       

  • 60% of voters said they support the White House’s American Jobs Plan, including 84% of Democrats, 51% of independent voters and 35% of Republicans.
  • At least three-quarters of voters support the plans to devote $18 billion to modernize veterans’ hospitals; $115 billion to modernize highways, roads and streets; and $400 billion to improve caregiving for aging and disabled individuals.
  • 76% of Democrats said they would support spending $174 billion to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles, including expanding the country’s EV charging network, while just 28% of Republicans said the same.

Research & Articles
04-06-2021

Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm went live for a special 30-minute “Ask me Anything” (AMA) exclusively for the Climate Advocacy Lab community. The US Department of Energy will be critical to the fight to stop climate change. Listen as community members ask questions of USDOE Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm. Our goal with this event is to get information to the field about the priorities of the US DOE and to uncover opportunities for the field to have more impact on these issues.

Research & Articles
03-31-2021

Increasing accessibility, affordability, and reliability of public transit is imperative for BIPOC, low-income people, those living in rural areas, seniors, youth, and people with disabilities. COVID-19 exacerbated transportation inaccessibility because of limited routes and slashed service times. It also posed significant threats to transit workers who were not given adequate protection. Transit agencies must have safeguards in place to combat the negative effects of future pandemics as well as climate change. Such policies include better sick and family leave policies for transit drivers and electrification of the transportation sector to meet climate goals.             

  • Other measures aimed at combating climate change or transitioning away from fossil fuels also have majority backing, including expanding the country’s electric vehicle charging network (59%) and taking other steps to electrify the transportation sector (52%).
  • Increasing housing options for low-income families garners the support of 70% of registered voters, including 87% of Democrats and 53% of Republicans. 
  • Millennials are at least 10 points more likely to back all of the proposed educational measures, such as free tuition at historically Black colleges and universities, a measure supported by 38% of all voters.

Poll: Voters Support Stimulus for Clean Energy, Climate

Nexus Polling, Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication
Research & Articles
03-29-2021

American voters strongly support clean energy infrastructure investments to kickstart the economic recovery, support action on climate change as part of stimulus recovery packages, and want their elected officials to support those policies as well.

As part of an economic stimulus package, a majority of voters support:

  • Assisting states and regions recovering from recent extreme weather and climate disasters (79%);
  • Reinforcing infrastructure to withstand the effects of climate change and extreme weather such as severe flooding and hurricanes (73%);
  • Building new power lines to transport renewable energy (70%);
  • Creating a jobs program for unemployed oil and gas workers to safely close abandoned oil and gas wells (69%);
  • Expanding public transportation such as high-speed rail, subway and light rail systems, and electric buses (67%);
  • Expanding tax credits and other incentives to expand renewable energy such as solar and wind (66%); and
  • Building and expanding charging infrastructure for electric vehicles (59%).