Climate Change in the Latino Mind

Key Findings

Beliefs & Attitudes

  • More than eight in ten Latinos (84%) think global warming is happening, including nearly nine in ten Spanish-language Latinos (88%).
  • Six in ten Latinos (63%) are “very” or “extremely” sure global warming is happening, including seven in ten Spanish-language Latinos (70%).
  • Seven in ten Latinos (70%) understand global warming is mostly human caused, including three-quarters of Spanish-language Latinos (76%). By contrast, only about two in ten Latinos (21%) think it is caused mostly by natural changes in the environment.
  • Three in four Latinos (78%) are worried about global warming; one in three (35%) are “very worried”, including 43% of Spanish-language Latinos, who are “very worried”.
  • Half of Latinos (50%) think people in the U.S. are being harmed by global warming “right now,” including nearly two in three Spanish-language Latinos (63%).
  • A majority of Latinos think global warming will cause “a great deal” of harm to plant and animal species (68%), future generations of people (64%), the world’s poor (61%), people in developing countries (55%), or their grandchildren (54%).
  • More than half of Latinos (53%) say they have personally experienced the effects of global warming.
  • About half of Latinos (48%) discuss global warming with family and friends “often” or “occasionally,” including 58% of Spanish-language Latinos.
  • Fewer than half of Latinos (41%) hear about global warming in the media at least once a month or more frequently.
  • Eight in ten Latinos (83%), including nine in ten Spanish-language Latinos (90%), say that global warming is at least “somewhat” important to them.
  • A large majority of Latinos (85%) support schools teaching children about global warming, including more than half (57%) who “strongly agree” that schools should teach children about it.
  • Nearly one in four Latinos say either providing a better life for our children and grandchildren or preventing the destruction of most life on the planet are the most important reasons to reduce global warming (each 23%).

Policy & Politics

  • Three in four Latinos want corporations and industry (77%), citizens themselves (74%), President Trump (74%), and the U.S. Congress (73%) to do more to address global warming.
  • A large majority of Latinos (68%) think the U.S. should reduce its greenhouse gas emissions “regardless of what other countries do.”
  • Eight in ten Latinos (81%) support requiring fossil fuel companies to pay a carbon tax.
  • Half of Latinos “strongly support” funding more research into renewable energy (55%), regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant (50%), or providing tax rebates for people who purchase energy-efficient vehicles or solar panels (48%).
  • Many Latinos are willing to take political action on global warming, including a majority who would vote for a candidate for public office because of their position on global warming (60%). A majority are also willing to join a campaign to convince elected officials to take action to reduce global warming (51%), including 61% of Spanish-language Latinos.
  • Seven in ten Latinos (71%) have never been contacted by an organization working to reduce global warming.
  • Latinos face different barriers to contacting elected officials about global warming, including about three in four (73%) who say nobody has ever asked them, and more than six in ten (64%) say they do not know which elected officials to contact.

Actions & Behaviors

  • One in three Latinos (35%) have rewarded companies for taking steps to reduce global warming by buying their products. Similarly, about one in three Latinos (31%) have punished companies that oppose steps to reduce global warming by not buying their products.
  • A majority of Latinos (57%) intend to buy the products of companies that are taking steps to reduce global warming. Likewise, a majority of Latinos (55%) would punish companies for opposing steps to reduce global warming by not buying their products.