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Executive Summary

Drawing on a representative sample of the U.S. adult population (n = 1,033; including the 906 registered voters whose data are included in this report), these findings describe how registered voters view a variety of domestic climate and energy policies. The survey was fielded from October 20 – 26, 2023.

This executive summary mostly presents the results for all registered voters only, while the main text of the report also breaks the results down by political party and ideology.

Global Warming as a Voting Issue

  • 57% of registered voters would prefer to vote for a candidate for public office who supports action on global warming. This includes 95% of liberal Democrats, 86% of moderate/conservative Democrats, and 46% of liberal/moderate Republicans, but only 13% of conservative Republicans.

Global Warming and Clean Energy as Government Priorities

  • 56% of registered voters think global warming should be a high or very high priority for the president and Congress.
  • 64% of registered voters think developing sources of clean energy should be a high or very high priority for the president and Congress.

Policies to Reduce the Pollution that Causes Global Warming

Majorities of registered voters support a range of policies to reduce carbon pollution and promote clean energy. These include:

  • 85% support federal funding to help farmers improve practices to protect and restore the soil so it absorbs and stores more carbon.
  • 72% support tax rebates to people who purchase energy-efficient vehicles or solar panels.
  • 71% support tax credits or rebates to encourage people to buy electric appliances, such as heat pumps and induction stoves, that run on electricity instead of oil or gas.
  • 66% support requiring fossil fuel companies to pay a tax on the carbon they produce and using the money to reduce other taxes by an equal amount.
  • 64% support transitioning the U.S. economy from fossil fuels to 100% clean energy by 2050.
  • 63% support requiring electric utilities to produce 100% of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2035.

Energy Production

  • 78% of registered voters support generating renewable energy on public land in the U.S.
  • 52% support expanding offshore drilling for oil and natural gas off the U.S. coast.
  • 49% support drilling and mining fossil fuels on public land in the U.S.

Building Climate-Friendly Energy Production and Distribution Infrastructure

Many registered voters support building clean energy infrastructure in their local area. This includes:

  • Solar farms: 61%
  • Wind farms: 55%
  • Electric vehicle charging stations: 52%
  • High-voltage power lines to distribute clean energy: 52%
  • Nuclear power plants: 31%

Declaring Climate Change a National Emergency

  • 58% of registered voters support a U.S. president declaring global warming a national emergency if Congress does not take further action.

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA)

On August 16, 2022, President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) into law. The law aims to curb inflation, reduce prescription drug prices and the cost of health insurance, modernize the Internal Revenue Service, and invest in U.S. clean energy production. The law will be paid for by closing tax loopholes.

  • 36% of registered voters have heard either “a lot” or “some” about the IRA.
  • After reading a short description of the IRA, 71% of registered voters support it.
  • Fewer than half of registered voters think the IRA will help future generations of people (46%), the health of Americans (45%), low-income communities and communities of color (40%), the economy and jobs in the U.S. (38%), their family (33%), or them personally (30%).

Energy Production as an Economic Issue

  • 45% of registered voters think policies that promote clean energy will improve economic growth and create jobs.
  • 57% of registered voters think the clean energy industry will create more good jobs than the fossil fuel industry.

Who Should Act?

  • Half or more registered voters say the following should do more to address global warming: Corporations and industry (68%), the Republican Party (62%), citizens themselves (62%), the U.S. Congress (61%), their local government officials (55%), the Democratic Party (55%), the media (55%), their governor (53%), President Biden (52%), and they themselves (50%).
  • Only 12% of registered voters think the U.S. government is responding well to global warming.

Participation by the United States in International Climate Action

  • 60% of registered voters think the U.S. should reduce its greenhouse gas emissions regardless of what other countries do.
  • Majorities of registered voters support providing financial aid and technical support to developing countries to limit their greenhouse gas emissions (i.e., mitigation; 60%) and to help them prepare for the impacts of global warming (i.e., adaptation; 57%).
  • 40% of registered voters support the U.S. contributing to an international “loss and damage fund” to provide financial assistance to low-income countries that are most harmed by global warming and least responsible for causing it. An additional 26% of registered voters neither support nor oppose this.

Perceptions of Fossil Fuel Companies

  • Only 18% of registered voters trust fossil fuel companies to act in the public’s best interest, while 35% trust renewable energy companies to do so.
  • 70% of registered voters say fossil fuel companies have too much influence on government decisions.
  • 47% of registered voters think fossil fuel companies should be allowed to participate in international climate negotiations.
  • Only 19% of registered voters think fossil fuel companies should receive financial support from the government.

Political Actions to Limit Global Warming

  • 51% of registered voters say they would sign a petition about global warming if a person they like and respect asked them to, although only 14% say they have signed such a petition in the past year.
  • 25% of registered voters say they would donate money to an organization working on global warming if asked by a person they like and respect (compared with 11% who say they have done so in the past year), 25% say they would contact government officials about global warming (compared with 7% who say they have done so in the past year), and 24% say they would volunteer their time to an organization working on global warming (compared with 4% who say they have done so in the past year).
  • 20% say they would support an organization engaging in non-violent civil disobedience against corporate or government activities that make global warming worse, 12% say they would personally engage in non-violent civil disobedience (compared with 1% who say they have done so in the past year), and 4% say they would be willing to get arrested as part of such an action.
  • 2% say they are currently participating in a campaign to convince elected officials to take action to reduce global warming, while 6% say they would “definitely” join such a campaign and 18% would “probably” join one.

Consumer Actions to Limit Global Warming

  • 26% of registered voters say they have rewarded companies that are taking steps to reduce global warming by buying their products in the past 12 months, and 20% say they have punished companies that are opposing steps to reduce global warming by not buying their products.
  • 35% of registered voters say that, over the next 12 months, they would like to punish companies that are opposing steps to reduce global warming by not buying their products more frequently than they are now, and 34% say they intend to buy the products of companies that are taking steps to reduce global warming more frequently than they do now.

Collective Efficacy

  • 42% of registered voters think people like them, working together, can affect what the federal government does about global warming, and 40% think they can affect what corporations do about global warming.

Educating Students About Global Warming

  • 75% of registered voters think schools should teach children about the causes and consequences of global warming, and potential solutions.