Half of Americans Say US Government Not Doing Enough on Climate Change

September 23, 2014

By: Dina Smeltz, Senior Fellow, Public Opinion and Foreign Policy; Craig Kafura, Assistant Director, Public Opinion and Foreign Policy; Liz Deadrick, Intern, Studies

Half of Americans (50%) say the U.S. government is not doing enough to deal with the problem of climate change, according to new survey results from The Chicago Council on Global Affairs. This is up five percentage points from 2012, when a plurality (45%) said the government was not doing enough. Three in ten (31%) say the government is doing about the right amount, while two in ten (19%) say it is doing too much.

Some of the actions Americans would endorse include increasing tax incentives to encourage the development and use of alternative energy sources, such as solar or wind power (73%) and requiring automakers to increase fuel efficiency even if this increases the price of cars (69%). A large majority of Americans (71%) also support the U.S. participating in a “new international treaty to address climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

This data is pulled from the 2014 Chicago Council Survey report, Foreign Policy in the Age of Retrenchment, which finds solid public support for the United States having an “active” role in world affairs.

The 2014 Chicago Council Survey was made possible by generous support from the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, the Korea Foundation, the United States-Japan Foundation and Chicago Council Chairman Lester Crown.

Data was collected between May 6 to May 29, 2014 among a national sample of 2,108 adults, 18 years of age or older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. The margin of error is ± 2.1 percentage points. The full dataset from this year’s study will be made available on the website in January 2015.
Half of Americans Say US Government Not Doing Enough on Climate Change

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