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Survey of Black, Hispanic, and white adults sought to measure concern for and perception of the impacts of climate change and other environmental threats like pollution, flooding, and storms, how these threats impact different racial/ethnic groups, and how adults’ views on these issues vary by race and ethnicity. Key findings include:

  • Black adults (60%) are nearly twice as likely as white adults (32%) to say they are very concerned about air pollution in their local community.
  • A majority of Americans (70%) are concerned about climate change, but Hispanic adults (68%) and Black adults (66%) are more likely than white adults (53%) to say climate change is a major problem.
  • Hispanic (50%) and Black (41%) adults are more likely than white adults (36%) to say they’re very or somewhat familiar with the term “environmental injustice.” While 51% of Black adults and 48% of Hispanic adults view environmental injustice as a major problem in the U.S., only 33% of white adults hold the same view, a significantly lower percentage.
  • Black adults (60%) and Hispanic adults (61%) are significantly more likely than white adults (53%) to say they experience a lot + some exposure to pollution in their daily lives.
  • While majorities of white (51%), Black 63% and Hispanic (55%) adults all say that predominantly Black neighborhoods still experience the long-term effects of redlining (definitely + probably), there are still differences between these groups in the extent to which they believe Black neighborhoods experience these impacts. Black adults (46%) are significantly more likely than both white adults (20%) and Hispanic adults (24%) to say that predominantly Black neighborhoods definitely still experience the long-term effects of redlining.

Research & Articles
  • Despite a crowded national issue agenda, Americans want action on the environment and prioritize protecting access to clean, safe water.
  • America is bracing for a worsening environment. 57% expect the condition of the environment to get worse for the next generation; only 12% think things will be better and 31% think the environment will be the same.
  • The top two things that Americans expect to get worse center on the environment; 57% think “damage from natural disasters” and 51% think “the environment where we live” will be worse in the next twenty years.
  • There is a broad consensus that the U.S. needs to take more action. Fully 72% say that more needs to be done and 73% think humans can take action to reduce the impacts of climate change.
  • 88% of Americans think companies have an obligation to take more action on environmental issues

  • 79% of voters are more likely to support a lawmaker who supports policies that encourage renewabl energy options (such as wind, solar, and waste to energy technologies), compared to 51% of voters who are more likely to support a lawmaker who supports policies that encourage the development of more fossil fuel energy, such as coal and oil. 
  • Voters are most likely (85%) to support a lawmaker who supports legislation that would provide additional ways for home or business owners to finance energy upgrades, such as improved insulation, lighting, or windows. 
  • 77% of voters are more likely to support a lawmaker who wants to change North Carolina's regulatory policy to allow for more competition and consumer choice. 
  • A pluarility of voters (38%) see climate change as a "serious problem" and think "immediate action" is necessary. An addiitonal 22% support "some action." 
  • 60% of voters recognize that the effects of climate change "have already begun to happen" and 59% understand climate change is "mainly the result of manmade pollution."

  • 74% of California voters believe the threat that wildfires now pose to the state is much more serious than it has been in the past. This view is shared by large majorities of voters across all major regions
  • 38% feel it is highly likely that wildfires will cause serious damage to the homes in their local area within the next ten years -- including 8% who say wildfires have already caused serious damage to area homes
  • 66% believe climate change is a major factor contributing to the greater number of wildfires in the state in recent years
  • 54% have little confidence in government’s ability to protect their local area from the threat of wildfire

In November 2018, residents of Portland, Oregon, made history by passing The Portland Clean Energy Fund (PCEF), a breakthrough initiative that will raise an estimated $44-$61 million annually to support local clean energy and economic justice initiatives. The fund passed with 65 percent of the vote and support from a long list of local businesses and community organizations, including faith leaders, labor unions, and more. This Executive Summary captures toplines on what the campaign learned about what it takes to win.

A statewide poll of Pennsylvania voters found that...

  • 72% support the state participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initative (RGGI) and 56% said they were more likely to vote for state elected officials who support joining RGGI
  • 56% said the initiative would boost the state’s economy, while 21% said it would hurt. Forty percent believed it would have a positive impact on their electricity bill
  • 70% said they would be more likely to support RGGI if proceeds were invested in training workers for clean energy jobs, expanding energy efficiency programs for homes and businesses to lower consumer bills and boosting economic development in farming communities that produce renewable energy
  • 78% percent want the state to provide job training, guaranteed wages or other assistance to coal and natural gas workers who lose their jobs as a result of the market transition to renewable energy sources
  • 76% of respondents considered climate change to be a serious problem, with nearly half of voters saying it is “very serious”
  • More than 70% also supported the state updating and strengthening regulations to restrict the release of methane from natural gas wells, pipelines and storage facilities

Nationally representative polling from Sept. 14-16 shows that 39% of US adults say that climate change has contributed “a lot” to recent natural disasters like hurricanes and wildfires, with a further 34% saying climate change was responsible for “some.” Black and Hispanic adults were the most likely to say “a lot” (49% each), with White respondents at 36%.

Other highlights:

  • Roughly half (48 percent) of U.S. adults are “very concerned” about the impact of climate change on the U.S. environment.
  • 4% of adults say they are considering moving now due to natural disaster concerns, and 16% say they would consider a move in the future.
  • 39% if adults say they are “very concerned” about the impact of climate change on the U.S. economy.
  • The percentage of adults who say they are “not concerned at all” about climate change fell to 8% in this survey.

Voters Want to See More Climate Coverage in the Media

Dr. Genevieve Gunther, Danielle Deiseroth, and Marcela Mulholland. Data For Progress
Research & Articles

A Sept. 11-14 poll of likely voters nationally has found strong demand for more media coverage of climate change and its impacts on events like extreme-weather hazards. Some highlights:

  • Only 39% of voters hear about climate change at least once a week in the media compared to 45% who say they hear about natural disasters in that timeframe
  • 59 percent say they follow climate change somewhat or very closely in the news (69% of Democrats, 59% of Independents, 51% of Independents)
  • 77% say it is important for the news to attribute extreme weather events to climate change (48% very important)
  • This includes 88% of Democrats (65% Very Important), 71% of Independents (40% Very Important), and 68% of Republicans (33% Very Important)
  • 71% say they want to hear the news tell them if climate change is worsening an extreme weather event, including 66% of Republicans

The Climate Advocacy Lab and The All We Can Save Project came together to review the latest research and field testing about women's engagement on climate change, before turning to excpetional female climate leaders – and contributing essayist for the forthcoming anthology, All We Can Save (AWCS) – about the powerful impacts of feminine & feminist climate leadership.

A recent poll looking at American attitudes towards new regulations on development in the wake of record numbers of wildfires and hurricanes show broad support for policies to increase resilience and help protect communities from floods and fires. In addition, 75% of Americans say they have personally felt the affects of climate change 75% of Americans say they have personally observed effects of climate change

  • A majority of Americans support policies to increase resilience to and help protect communities from wildfires including: prohibiting development near fire-prone areas (58%), requiring people to purchase fire insurance (60%), removing dead vegetation in forests (76%), helping Americans who lose their homes due to fires (79%), increasing the number of firefighters (85%), and requiring use of fireresistant building materials (87%).
  • A majority of Americans similarly support policies that increase resilience to and help protect communities from floods, including: prohibiting development in flood-prone areas (57%), paying people to move to live in safer places (59%), requiring flood insurance (66%), helping Americans who lose homes due to floods (77%), requiring new building codes to minimize flood damage (84%), and doing construction to encourage quicker water drainage (87%).