Americans Divided About Paying to Stop Climate Change

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A new survey reveals that most Americans want the U.S. government to fight climate change. But that is where the agreement ends.

More than 6 in 10 Americans (65 percent) think climate change is a problem that the U.S. government needs to address. But when it comes to actually funding solutions to the problem, we’re divided.

That’s according to the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC) and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, the agencies that recently conducted a new survey on Americans’ views on energy and climate change.

Although the majority of Americans are on the same page when it comes to acknowledging climate change, they don’t agree on how much money they are willing to pay to address the problem.

When asked how much they’d be willing to pay to confront the changes also called global warming, respondents said:

  • Zero: A whopping 42 percent of Americans said they’re unwilling to even pay a monthly $1 fee on their electric bill to fight climate change.
  • $20: About 29 percent of Americans said they would pony up $20 a month.
  • $50: About 1 in 5 Americans said they’d pay $50 per month to help combat climate change.

Political party affiliation is closely correlated with how willing Americans are to acknowledge global warming as a fact. And party affiliation also is associated with how much money they’re willing to personally spend to fight global warming.

Despite this division, some experts say it’s encouraging that a large percentage of Americans would pay to fight climate change. Michael Greenstone, director of EPIC at the University of Chicago, says in a press release:

“These findings confirm that there is a shift underway in how concerned all Americans are about climate change. It is becoming clear that people are seeing more and more that it is worthwhile to invest some money today to help reduce the odds of the worst climate damages.”

How much money are you willing to pay to help fight global warming? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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