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New Poll Shows Majority of Americans Are Concerned About Climate Change

New Poll Shows Majority of Americans Are Concerned About Climate Change

As President Joe Biden heads to a vital United Nations climate summit, a majority of Americans regard the drastic changes in climate as a “problem of high importance” to them, an increase from just a few years ago. After Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris climate accord, the Biden administration hoped to help negotiate major emissions cuts globally to slow the rise of temperatures.

About 6 out of 10 Americans also believe that the pace of global warming is speeding up, according to a new survey from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago.

Photo by Eduardo Munoz-Pool/Getty Images

 

The poll also shows that 55% of Americans want Congress to pass a bill to ensure that more of the nation’s electricity comes from clean energy and less from climate-damaging coal and natural gas at a time when Republicans are blocking any effort the President has made towards passing any new climate legislation.

Only 16% of Americans oppose such a measure for electricity from cleaner energy. A similar measure initially was one of the most important parts of climate legislation that Biden has before Congress. But Biden’s proposal to reward utilities with clean energy sources and penalize those without ran into objections from a coal-state senator, Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia, leaving fellow Democrats scrambling to come up with other ways to slash pollution from burning fossil fuels.

Overall, 59% of Americans said the Earth’s warming is very or extremely important to them as an issue, up from 49% in 2018. Fifty-four percent of Americans cited scientists’ voices as having a large amount of influence on their views about climate change, and nearly as many, 51%, said their views were influenced by recent extreme weather events like hurricanes, deadly heat spells, wildfires, and other natural disasters around the world.

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