As we transition into 2019 and welcome a new Congress, there is renewed hope for climate action. While partisan gridlock remains the greatest impediment to bold climate solutions, there is a shift in partisan attitudes in favor of progress in 2019 and beyond. Republicans are increasingly aware that the climate is changing. They see these changes at their doorstep, they are concerned, and they want action.
But with a history of obstruction of climate policy, many wonder about the extent to which Republicans are ready to take meaningful steps to address climate change. Do they support the policies necessary to address the crisis? And who do they look to for guidance on climate solutions?
To answer these questions, ecoAmerica conducted the first of its 2019 American Climate Perspective Surveys. Below are the five key takeaways:
- A majority of Americans (80%), from across the political spectrum (64% Republicans, 71% Independents, 94% Democrats), believe that the climate and weather are changing.
- Americans (73%), including Republicans (54%), are concerned about climate change. However, they think that fewer around them (57%, 55% respectively) are concerned.
- Who Republicans trust for information on climate has shifted drastically in a small, 3-year window of time. Republicans now look to scientists (77%), the President (48%), environmental organizations (47%), and health professionals (44%) for guidance.
- Republican support for fossil fuel production, like natural gas and oil, is dwindling. In just four years, Republican support is down 14% for natural gas production, and down 15% for oil production (now 67% and 52% respectively).
- A growing constituency of Republicans supports local climate action. They want their city to conserve energy (48%), develop clean energy (46%), and to educate the public about a changing climate (36%). While these levels remain below a majority, they represent notable 14, 22, and 21 point increases since 2015 respectively.
Americans, both Democrats and Republicans, support a variety of climate solutions and are ready to act. Policymakers must seize the moment and lead their communities to a cleaner, healthier, and more prosperous climate future. See the full results of the survey HERE.
To help all Americans act in their own community, ecoAmerica has developed a growing library of programs, tools and resources for climate leaders across all sectors of American life. Check out the new websites for Climate for Health, Blessed Tomorrow, and Path to Positive Communities to access resources and learn the best ways to engage on climate in your community. Or, learn the most effective ways to engage others on climate by following ecoAmerica’s Talking Points Series.