Advertisement

Survey: Americans care about climate change, but want some fossil fuels

By Rich Klein
Activists march in Los Angles in September to seek more ambitious climate action from world leaders. A new survey by Pew Research shows that Americans want to see the U.S. rely more on renewable energy but don't want to eliminate fossil fuels completely due to economics. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/e4c0a6d20cb9a83ebaa5eebf866b3e38/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Activists march in Los Angles in September to seek more ambitious climate action from world leaders. A new survey by Pew Research shows that Americans want to see the U.S. rely more on renewable energy but don't want to eliminate fossil fuels completely due to economics. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

March 1 (UPI) -- While three-quarters of Americans believe the United States should participate in global efforts to combat climate change, a new survey found that just 31 percent want to phase out fossil fuels completely.

The Pew Research Center poll released Tuesday revealed that economic concerns were top of mind for many when asked to think about what a transition away from fossil fuels would mean for their own lives. Sixty-seven percent believe America should use a mix of fossil fuels and renewable energy.

Advertisement

The survey of 10,237 U.S. adults was conducted from Jan. 24 to 30 -- before Russia invaded Ukraine on Thursday. The war has resulted in vastly higher oil and gas prices worldwide amid fears of shortages with Russia as a major energy exporter.

Sixty-nine percent of those in the survey prioritize developing alternative energy sources, such as wind and solar, the survey found -- with the same percentage of adults expressing support for the United States taking steps to become carbon neutral by 2050.

Advertisement

But 53 percent said that they didn't think the world could avoid the damaging effects of climate change.

"There's some skepticism that change will be enough to avoid the worst effects," said Carey Funk, the center's director of science and society research. "That was shared, generally speaking, across parties."

RELATED Key climate report says world moving closer to irreversible damage to environment

The survey results follow a new report from the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on Monday that said climate change is "a threat to human well-being and health of the planet."

"This report is a dire warning about the consequences of inaction," IPCC Chairman Hoesung Lee said in a statement.

Edward Carr, a professor and director of the international development community and environment department at Clark University, and an author of the most recent IPCC report said:

RELATED Oil prices spike to 7-year high amid Russian invasion of Ukraine

"Incremental change is not going to get us to a climate resilient future now. Our options are going away as time passes, and the longer we wait, the less effective those options will be and the fewer we have."

Funk added that while support for renewables has grown since President Joe Biden took office, Republican support for wind and solar power has decreased.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Monday considered whether an Obama administration regulation to regulate carbon emissions from existing power plants gives the Environmental Protection Agency such authority.

Advertisement

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement