The Paris Agreement on Climate Change officially opens for signature this Friday, April 22 at a high level ceremony at the U.N. in New York City. Convened by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Earth Day, the event is the formal beginning of the implementation of the historic agreement reached last December. The agreement will officially enter into force when signed by at least 55 countries representing 55% of global emissions. What does the American public think of this international action to reduce global warming?
Revisiting our results from a national survey conducted just prior to the Paris Conference, we asked Americans about the international negotiations, how much the U.S. and other countries should do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and whether the U.S. should only act if other countries do too.
A large percentage of Americans (71%) said it was important to reach an agreement to limit global warming and 43% said reaching an agreement was very or extremely important. Majorities of both Democrats (85%) and Republicans (64%) said an agreement was important. In contrast, only 3% of Democrats and 24% of Republicans said reaching an agreement in Paris was “not at all” important.
Americans also supported national and international action to address global warming. Most Americans (64%) said the U.S. should do “more” or “much more” to address global warming, compared to 22% who thought the U.S. is doing the right amount, and only 13% who said the U.S. should do less. Americans were even more likely to say other countries should be doing more: majorities said developing countries (72%) as well as other industrialized nations (66%) should do more than they are currently.
Beyond their strong support for international cooperation, a majority of Americans (62%) said the U.S. should reduce its greenhouse gas emissions regardless of what other countries do. Just one in ten (9%) said the U.S. should reduce its emissions only if other industrialized countries and developing countries reduce theirs, and only 6% said the U.S. should not reduce its emissions.
In short, most Americans support putting the Paris Agreement into action.
If you are interested in the methodology behind these findings, please go here.