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The defining determinant of your belief in climate change in the U.S. is your political allegiance. So how do you get around the politics and create common ground?
WHY YOU SHOULD TAKE A LOOK
Clean energy is one of the things that cuts through the politics of climate change. You don’t need to ‘believe’ in the science to think that cleaner air, innovation and the freedom to choose your energy source are a good thing. And guess what? Republicans support things like that too.
Frames. The strongest frames for clean energy were ‘less pollution’ ‘more innovation’ and ‘greater independence’.
Republicans were less supportive of ‘global leadership’, ‘inevitability’, ‘beating China’ and surprisingly, ‘a more secure grid’.
Policies. Republicans supported homeowners with rooftop solar receiving credits for power that was put back in the grid, as well as rooftop solar leasing.
Republicans were less supportive of renewable energy standards or the funding of research and development by government.
They were lukewarm (just over 50%) about carbon fee policies, tax incentives for solar and wind and the expansion of nuclear power.
Shifting the Six Americas? When asked about the human causation of climate change, very few Republicans were outright dismissive. 35% said human activities are probably causing climate change, and only 9% said the climate is not changing.
Conservative responses to climate change. When given a fictional political candidate who reflected action on climate through a conservative frame of ‘reducing dependence on foreign oil, reducing air pollution and improving public health’ regardless of the debate over climate, 83% of respondents said they would be likely to vote for them.
Interestingly, they were less warm on the framing of ‘climate change is a challenge and we need an approach that is market-based’ with only 69% saying they would be likely to vote for that hypothetical candidate.
China is no longer an excuse. Suggesting that it does not matter what the U.S. does about clean energy because China will not reduce their own pollution received only 29% support overall and 49% support from Republicans.
image via Greenpeace UK