According to Trevor Thompson, director of The AP-NORC Center, "majorities of both Democrats and Republicans agree that climate change is happening and there are signs that consensus could happen on other issues, too."
Some 85 percent of Democrats believe climate change is real, while 61 percent of Republicans also said climate change is indeed happening, according to the poll’s findings.
The data puts “the polarized climate debate in sharp relief,” Michael Greenstone, director of the Energy Policy Institute, said in a press release.
About 30 percent of survey participants put their money where their mouths were, too, saying they would pay at least $75 per month to help the effort to mitigate the impacts of global climate change. About 18 percent said they would be willing to pay an extra $100 on their electricity bills to pay for counter-climate change initiatives.
Greenstone says having so many people motivated to participate is a good sign. “On average, Americans would pay about $30 per month, as a meaningful share of households report that they are willing to pay a substantial amount,” the economist said, adding, “what is particularly striking is that it’s projected to cost less than $30 per person to pay for climate damages from the electricity sector."
According to the results, 44 percent of Americans incorrectly believed the coal industry employs more workers than the solar industry. In fact, the solar sector employs at least twice as many employees as its fossil fuel counterpart, according to the poll. Other studies put the ratio of solar to coal to solar employees at three or even four times to one.
A plurality of voters, 42 percent, said they believed the US should remain a signatory to the Paris Climate Accord, while the rest of those polled were split between supporting America’s exit or having no opinion on the matter — 28 and 28 percent, respectively.