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This post includes climate and environment headlines, data points, and key takeaways from recent public polls - including new polling on clean energy investment as part of Biden’s economic plan; “direct pay” reforms to better incentivize clean energy production; electric vehicles and ethanol; and state-level polls in California and Massachusetts.
Poll: Mass. residents concerned about climate change, but more worried about health care, education & jobs
Massachusetts residents are concerned about the impacts of climate change, with majorities saying that climate impacts like heat waves, coastal flooding and more powerful storms are already or very likely to hit the state in the next five years. However fewer than half of residents (47%) list climate change as a high priority -- it trails behind worries about health care, jobs and the economy, education, taxes, and fuel costs. The new survey suggests concern over climate change has declined since a similar poll in 2019 in which 54% of residents called climate change a high priority for state government.
Majorities of MA residents support climate and energy policies including:
- Update the states' building codes to require buildings to be better protected against climate change (76%)
- Require new or renvoated buildings to be ready to charge electric vehicles (70%)
- Require new or renovated buildings to be fully electric, using no oil or natural gas (57%)
Additional analysis and data visualizations in this article from WBUR.
Poll: As Earth’s temperature rises, Massachusetts residents’ sense of urgency on climate change declines
Majorities of Massachusetts residents support proposals to reduce buildings’ climate impacts, and communities of color are most concerned about climate change. Another state-level poll, courtesy of the Boston Globe and MassINC, finds that Massachusetts residents widely support requirements to make new construction in the state more climate-friendly: 70% support requiring new or renovated buildings to be ready to charge electric vehicles. 67% support requiring new or renovated buildings to use only renewable electricity. 57% support requiring new or renovated buildings to be fully electric, using no oil or natural gas. An even larger majority (76%) support a proposal to update the state’s building code to require that buildings be better protected against climate change. 77% believe that climate change will be a serious problem for Massachusetts, including nearly half (48%) who believe it will be a “very” serious problem. Majorities of Latino (60%) and Black residents (57%) believe that climate change will cause “very serious” issues for the state if left unchecked, compared to 46% of White residents.
Boston can become a global climate justice leader by embracing radical possibilities that prioritize systemic change. A Green New Deal for Boston can address the root causes of issues such as affordability, congestion, and unequal access to city resources. The Boston Green New Deal recommends seven main principles for systemic change rooted in transformation and accountability. It calls for changes that are people-centered, rights-based, and democratic. These changes must demand the prioritization of justice, decommodify society and nature, and provide social and ecological resilience. Initiating concrete policy proposals that align with these principles will help Boston recover from the pandemic in a way that ensures community resilience and promises residents secure jobs, affordable housing, and a thriving local economy.
Different parts of the country see various kinds of extreme weather as most concerning, perceptions which are largely in line with actual major disasters that have occurred in those regions. This report provides concern profiles for the 18 largest states, drawing on survey data from 2018 and 2019. Over half of Americans see such extreme weather events posting a high or moderate risk to their community in the coming decade, and two thirds see a climate link to US weather (though only a third think climate affects our weather "a lot").