Americans want action on climate change

Americans want action on climate change

66% of Americans now say they’ve seen enough evidence to justify action on climate change.

The US population has reached a consensus on the need to act in response to climate change, according to a new NBC News/ Wall Street Journal poll.

Overall, 66 percent of Americans now say they’ve seen enough evidence to justify action, up from 51 percent two decades ago.

That figure incorporates 85 percent of Democrats, 79 percent of independents, 71 percent of women, 61 percent of men and strong majorities of all racial groups.

Resistance comes only from the one-third of Americans who identify themselves as Republicans. A 56 percent majority of GOP voters believe either that concern about climate change is unwarranted or that more research is necessary before taking action.

Republican Congressional leaders notably opposed decisions by President Clinton and Obama to curb US carbon emissions in concert with action by other nations.

President Trump, who has called climate change a “hoax,” last year announced the US would withdraw from the 2015 Paris Agreement comprised of 196 countries.

Opponents of action on climate change often insist the financial costs of curbing climate change exceed potential benefits. But the NBC/WSJ survey shows most Americans now disagree.

Some 63 percent of Democrats and 59 percent of independents say action will cost less than inaction. But just 35 percent of Republicans agree, outpaced by the 48 percent of Republicans who believe action will cost more.

The telephone survey of 900 adults was conducted Dec. 9-12. It carries a margin for error of 3.27 percentage points.


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Paul Imison
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