A majority of Americans want the government to act more aggressively in the fight on climate change
Americans are warming to the idea of paying to fix climate change.
Nearly one in five Americans (18%) would shell out at least $100 per month to reverse the damage of climate change if they could, according to a new survey from the University of Chicago’s Energy Policy Institute and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
However, about half of respondents said they wouldn’t pay a nickel toward the effort. And among the remaining half that would pay, economist and University of Chicago professor Michael Greenstone has calculated that the average that they would be comfortable contributing toward this effort would be $30 per month, in the form of a bill akin to their monthly electricity fees. Though small, this amount would be enough to pay for the climate damages inflicted by the electricity sector, he says.
To combat climate change, many Americans are willing to put their money where their mouth is. https://t.co/SVpiq3DDrG
— Moneyish (@Moneyish) October 4, 2017
“If half the [respondents] would pay nothing, we’re a long way away from getting any carbon tax or policy that costs taxpayers money to deal with climate change,” Sam Ori, the executive director of U-Chicago’s Energy Policy Institute, told Moneyish in an interview. “What I think this polling shows is that the politics of a carbon tax or policies that would cost money to deal with climate change — we’re not necessarily there yet… You can’t get things done with half of the voters in this country,” Ori added.
What’s more, 61% of Americans regard climate change as a “problem that the government needs to address,” a figure composed of 43% of Republicans and 80% of Democrats, the survey showed. But it remains to be seen how the government will handle it: President Donald Trump announced earlier this summer that the United States would begin preparations to withdraw from the environmentally-focused Paris Climate Accords, signed by 195 countries last year, as soon as 2020. But subsequent reports indicated that the Trump administration might revisit its decision if the agreement were amended to suit US interests “under the right conditions,” leaving its future in doubt.
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