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Public Support for International Climate Action, September 2021


Executive Summary

The 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) will take place in Glasgow Scotland (UK) beginning on October 31, 2021. The two-week conference “will bring [nearly all the countries in the world] together to accelerate action towards the goals of the [2015] Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.” As context for the conference, this report describes how registered voters in the United States view a variety of policies related to international climate action. This survey was fielded from September 10 – 20, 2021, drawing on a representative sample of the U.S. population (n = 1,006; including the 898 registered voters whose data are included in this report). This report is a follow-up to our March 2021 report, which included most of the same survey items as the current report, and was released just prior to President Biden’s Earth-Day Leaders Summit on Climate. It is also a follow-up to the report we released last week, which describes the opinions about domestic climate policies of registered voters in the U.S. This executive summary reports the results from all registered voters, while the report breaks the results down by political party and ideology.

  • 66% of registered voters think the United States should be doing more to address global warming.
  • 66% think the United States should reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, regardless of what other countries do, an increase of 5 percentage points since our survey in March 2021.
  • 73% support the U.S. government’s pledge to reduce the nation’s carbon pollution by 50% by the year 2030.
  • 66% support providing financial aid and technical support to developing countries to limit their greenhouse gas emissions (+8 percentage points since March 2021)
  • 61% support providing financial aid and technical support to developing countries to help them prepare for the impacts of global warming (+6 percentage points).
  • 78% support the United States pressuring other countries to reduce their carbon pollution.
  • 74% think other industrialized countries (such as England, Germany, and Japan) should be doing more to address global warming.
  • 81% think developing countries (such as China, India, and Brazil) should be doing more to address global warming.