In June this year, President of the US Donald Trump announced his decision to withdraw America from the Paris climate deal, thus inviting a lot of criticism.
However, a survey has revealed what most Americans think of Trump’s move. As per the survey, more than half of America’s population – 61 percent to be precise – considers climate change to be a concerning issue and wants the government to address it.
Climate change seems to be a red rag for the current American administration. Trump’s reasoning for backing out of the Paris accord was that it undermined the country’s economy, cost US jobs, and put it at a disadvantage to other nations.
Donald Trump’s controversial views on climate change and its effects are known to all and have been condemned by world leaders and environmentalists alike.
Calling climate change a hoax created by China, Trump had said that, “the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive”.
According to the survey, when asked about key climate policy decisions, the largest shares of Americans said they oppose the repeal of the Clean Power Plan and the withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement.
Seventy-two percent of Americans believe climate change is happening, including 85 percent of Democrats and 61 percent of Republicans, revealed the survey from the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC) and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
Seven in 10 Republicans and nearly all Democrats who believe climate change is happening think the government needs to take action, the findings showed.
“These results put the polarised climate debate in sharp relief, but also point to the possibility of a path forward,” said Michael Greenstone, director of EPIC and Professor at the University of Chicago.
While many Americans favour policies that would help the country lower emissions, questions on how much they would personally be willing to pay to confront climate change (in the form of a monthly fee on their electric bill) revealed great disparity.
While half are unwilling to pay even one dollar, 18 percent are willing to pay at least $100 per month.
“Although half of households said they were unwilling to pay anything for a carbon policy in their monthly electricity bills, on average Americans would pay about $30 per month, as a meaningful share of households report that they are willing to pay a substantial amount,” Greenstone said.
What is particularly striking is that it’s projected to cost less than $30 per person to pay for climate damages from the electricity sector. So, while the raw economics appears to be less and less of a problem, the open question is whether it is feasible to devise a robust climate policy that accommodates these very divergent viewpoints,” Greenstone added.
Interviews for this survey were conducted between August 17 and 21, 2017, with adults age 18 and over representing the 50 states and the District of Columbia.