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Two-thirds of Americans say gov't response to climate change is inadequate

Majority of Americans say government is doing too little to address climate change, Pew Research Center said Thursday. Planting more trees to absorb carbon emissions has strong bipartisan support. File Photo by Michael Reynolds/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/40aa69c851c44c0330ae31e28e7bc5f6/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Majority of Americans say government is doing too little to address climate change, Pew Research Center said Thursday. Planting more trees to absorb carbon emissions has strong bipartisan support. File Photo by Michael Reynolds/UPI | License Photo

July 23 (UPI) -- The majority of Americans said in a new poll that the government was not doing enough to address climate change.

Sixty-five percent of respondents to a Pew Research Center poll released Thursday said that the government was doing too little to reduce the effects of climate change.

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Those living near the coast were more likely to say that climate change affected their local community. At least 70 percent of those living less than 25 miles from the coastline said climate change was affecting their local community a great deal or some compared with 57% of those living further from the coastline.

While Americans overall have become more likely to say addressing climate change should be a top priority, there is still a partisan divide. Democrats were far more likely than Republicans to say the government is doing too little to reduce the effects of climate change and protect the environment. Eighty-nine percent of Democrats and those who lean toward the Democratic Party said that the government was doing too little compared with 35% of Republicans and Republican leaners.

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There was also a gender divide on some environmental issues within the Republican Party. For instance, on protecting water quality, 51% of Republican women said the government was doing too little to protect it compared with 39% of Republican men. On air quality, 47% of Republican woman said that the government was doing too little to protect it compared with 32% of Republican men.

There was also an age gap. Fifty-three percent of Millennial and younger Republicans said that the government was doing too little to protect air quality compared with 30 percent of older Republicans.

Education level affected views about the role of human activity for Democrats more than Republicans.

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More than 80 percent of Democrats with a college or post-graduate degree said that human activity contributes a great deal to climate change compared with 58 percent with a high school education or less.

For Republicans, 25% of those with a post-graduate degree said that human activity contributes a great deal to climate change compared with 21% of Republicans with a high school education or less.

Still, more than half of Republicans and most Democrats said that they would favor the following initiatives to address climate change, tougher fuel efficiency standards for cars, taxing corporations based on their carbon emissions, and tougher restrictions on power plant carbon emissions.

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GOP women were significantly more likely than the GOP men to favor those initiatives, statistics show.

Bipartisan support was strongest for an initiative to plant about a trillion trees to absorb carbon emissions. Eighty-eight percent of Republicans supported this initiative and 92 percent of Democrats.

President Donald Trump said he supported planting trees in his State of the Union address in February, but didn't mention climate change and scientists say it won't alone be enough to curb emissions.

Providing a tax credit to businesses for developing carbon capture/storage had the second strongest bipartisan support with 78 percent of Republicans supporting it and 90 percent of Democrats.

The survey of 10,957 U.S. adults was from April 29-May 5 with a 1.4 percentage point margin of error.

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