Among Republicans, Catholics More Likely to Think that Global Warming is Happening

June 19, 2015 – (New Haven, CT) A special analysis of nationally representative survey data reveals that Catholic Republicans are more convinced that global warming is happening and human-caused, and are more worried and supportive of climate policies, than are non-Catholic Republicans.

“These results indicate that the Pope’s message on climate change is likely to find receptive ears among Catholic Republicans and even conservative Catholic Republicans,” said Dr. Anthony Leiserowitz of Yale University.

A majority of Catholic Republicans think that global warming is happening (51%), compared to a minority of non-Catholic Republicans (42%). Further, 36% of Catholic Republicans say global warming is caused mostly by human activities, compared to only 30% of non-Catholic Republicans.

Catholic Republicans are also more worried about global warming than other Republicans—36% say they are somewhat or very worried about global warming, while fewer non-Catholic Republicans are worried (30%).

Among Republicans, Catholics also express greater support for a variety of policies that would help reduce global warming, such as providing tax rebates to people who purchase energy-efficient vehicles or solar panels (71% versus 64% of non-Catholic Republicans) and for funding more research into renewable energy sources (68% versus 63% of non-Catholic Republicans).

Even among conservative Republicans, Catholics are different than non-Catholics. For example, among conservative Republicans, Catholics are more likely than non-Catholics to think that global warming is happening (42% versus 35%, respectively).

This analysis combines data from six nationally representative surveys of American adults conducted between Fall, 2012, and Spring, 2015. All surveys were conducted by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication.

In addition to Dr. Leiserowitz, investigators included Edward Maibach, PhD and Connie Roser-Renouf, PhD of George Mason University, and Geoff Feinberg and Seth Rosenthal, PhD, of Yale University.


For questions about the survey or to speak with the lead investigator, contact:

Anthony Leiserowitz:, 203-432-4865