October 22, 2020
IPL and our partners released a new poll that finds American voters of faith, including evangelical and mainline Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, and religiously unaffiliated voters, overwhelmingly believe climate change is happening and are worried about it. The poll from Climate Nexus, Yale University Program on Climate Change Communication, and George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication also finds more than seven in 10 (72%) voters support increasing federal funding to protect vulnerable communities from the impacts of extreme weather as part of the COVID-19 recovery.
The poll also shows that religious voters care about climate change and want to see the president and Congress take action on climate change in 2021.
This is good news. All major religions have a mandate to care for God’s creation. We have a sacred duty to be stewards of the Earth which supports all life, for all God’s creatures and for future generations.
This poll shows that people of faith care about climate justice and will be voting their values this election. They want to protect God’s Creation and our children’s future.
This is an important message for candidates to hear: People of faith will vote to protect God’s creation. There is an urgent need for climate action ASAP and elected officials should support advancing climate solutions.
Here are a few more notable findings from the poll that show the depth of support for climate action across faith traditions.
Almost three-quarters (73%) of voters say they are worried about climate change, including 87% of Black Protestants, 82% of nonwhite Catholics, 77% of white Catholics, 76% of Jews, and 57% of white evangelical Protestants. More than six in 10 (61%) voters, including majorities of Black Protestants (70%), nonwhite Catholics (68%), white Catholics (65%), and Jews (67%) and nearly half (47%) of white evangelical Protestants, also believe climate change is having an effect on extreme weather in their state.
Voters are generally supportive of policies and candidates that address climate change. A majority of voters across faith groups say a comprehensive bill addressing climate change is an important priority for Congress and the president in 2021. Almost two-thirds (64%) of voters want a multi-trillion-dollar federal economic stimulus to invest in clean energy infrastructure as part of COVID-19 recovery, including 72% of Black Protestants and 54% of white evangelical Protestants, and 63% of voters say they’d be more likely to vote for a candidate who supports an economic stimulus with investments in clean energy infrastructure.
Nearly three-quarters (74%) of voters support increasing government funding for renewable energy, including Jewish (66%), white mainline Protestant (55%), and white Catholic (54%) voters, and 55% of voters say domestic production of renewable energy is more likely to produce a greater number of jobs. Only 27% of voters think domestic production of fossil fuels will do the same.
Voters are also motivated to address climate change, with 81% saying fulfilling their responsibility to protect God’s creation is an important reason to address climate change, including strong majorities of Jews (75%), Black Protestants (94%) and white evangelical Protestants (90%).