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Americans Face Climate Change with Clean Energy and Carbon Reduction Strategies

Carbon pollution and clean energy top the concerns of Americans in a December 2009 survey.

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California faces industry and quality of life changes based on regional as well as global climate change -- water shortages, transportation challenges, energy costs and pollution. Californians, like Americans across the nation, are looking at climate change with serious evaluation: what will keep us competitive in the coming economy, global marketplaces, and safe and secure in our own communities?

As the US Congress prepares to tackle the climate change bill that was recently passed by the House and is working its way through the Senate, interest in climate change is rising.  Timing is also tied to global discussions at Cop10, the late 2009 global summit on environment and climate change held in Copenhagen.

Americans are recognizing that climate change is a global marketplace, and we need to pay attention, or our innovation and commercialization strengths might take a hit. 

The overwhelming majority of Americans support action to limit carbon pollution and move the U.S. toward a clean energy future, according to a new poll released in December 2009 by National Wildlife Federation.

"The American people can't be more clear when it comes to solving global warming: they want the U.S. to be Rudolph out in front of the sleigh, leading the world toward a clean energy future," said Jeremy Symons, senior vice president of NWF. "There is overwhelming public support for the Senate to pass legislation with firm limits on carbon pollution that will stimulate massive new investments in clean energy technologies."

It appears that Americans want to remain the global leader and they are seeing that other countries are leaping ahead of the US in wind energy, solar energy and energy efficiency. Where the technology gets developed...the jobs follow.

American voters demonstrate a strong desire for the U.S. to transition toward a low-carbon economy, with strong support among Independents.

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Strikingly, 82 percent voters and 80 percent of Independents, support the U.S. government increasing investment in clean energy sources.

Limit Carbon Pollution and Greenhouse Gases

67 percent of voters and 67 percent of Independents, support the U.S. government limiting carbon pollution and other gases that may cause global warming.

The polling also showed that the majority of Americans believe global warming is happening despite recent controversies surrounding climate scientists, though there is a strong partisan divide. Democrats and Independents overwhelmingly acknowledging global warming is real while Republicans remain significantly less united in their skepticism.

  • Two-thirds of registered voters (67 percent) believe global warming is happening, just 31 percent do not think global warming is happening
  • Among Democrats: 91 percent believe global warming is happening, 8 percent don't
  • Among Independents: 64 percent believe, 32 percent do not
  • Among Republicans: 43 percent believe, 54 percent do not

The poll was conducted by the Benenson Strategy Group. 1,000 interviews were conducted with registered voters nationwide from December 12-15, 2009.

Edited by Carolyn Allen
| clean energy | clean tech | climate change | carbon sequestration |


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