For Earth Day, key facts about Americans’ views of climate change and renewable energy
On April 22, people around the world commemorate Earth Day with events that call attention to a wide range of environmental concerns, especially global climate change.
To mark the occasion, here’s a look at what recent Pew Research Center surveys have found about Americans’ views on climate change and renewable energy sources.
About four-in-ten U.S. adults (42%) say that dealing with climate change should be a top priority for President Joe Biden and Congress to address this year, according to a Center survey conducted in January 2022. While fewer Americans rate dealing with climate change as a top priority than say the same about the other 17 issues in the survey, Democrats and those under age 30 are more likely than other Americans to view it as a top priority.
A bar chart showing that Democrats and younger Americans identify dealing with climate change as a top policy priority
Roughly two-thirds of Democrats and independents who lean toward the Democratic Party (65%) say addressing climate change should be a top priority for Biden and Congress, compared with just 11% of Republicans and GOP leaners.
A 54% majority of adults under 30 say global climate change should be a top priority, compared with smaller shares of Americans ages 30 to 49 (42%), ages 50 to 64 (36%) and ages 65 and older (39%).
Americans say that human activity, such as the burning of fossil fuels, contributes to climate change at least some, with 46% saying it contributes a great deal, a separate January 2022 Center survey found. About a quarter of Americans (24%) say the burning of fossil fuels and other human activity contributes not too much or not at all to climate change. Views on this question have held mostly steady in recent years.
42% of U.S. adults say that dealing with climate change should be a top priority for President Joe Biden and Congress to address this year.
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