August 2, 2022
POLL: In Key Battleground States, Climate Change Solutions Supported Across Racial, Political Lines
Black and Brown communities are the most impacted by climate change and share the most common ground on solutions
OAKLAND, CA - In key battleground states of North Carolina, Arizona, and Nevada, a vast majority of Black and Hispanic voters believe that climate change is contributing to more extreme weather, higher bills, and dangerous working conditions, and they support investments like increasing wind and solar power as solutions. Dream.Org commissioned YouGov to survey nearly 3,000 voters in these states to understand how climate change impacts their daily lives, and where there is common ground being built around possible solutions. The findings, released just days before the House considers the final vote on the Inflation Reduction Act - the most significant climate bill in our country’s history - demonstrate that the majority of people feel the impacts of climate change and can find ways to come together to solve it.
“Climate change is not the political wedge issue it once was,” said CeCe Grant, Director of Government Affairs at Dream.Org. “Higher energy bills, more extreme storms, and dangerously high temperatures for workers have made transitioning to a green economy a dining room table issue for most Americans, especially Black and Hispanic Americans who are more likely to live in communities impacted by climate change. And as this poll shows, many people are supportive of common-sense solutions like increasing use of solar and wind power, increasing energy efficiency, and incentivizing sustainable agriculture. This is an opportunity for all lawmakers. Uniting around common ground solutions that will lower prices and create new jobs is a top priority for voters in some of the most competitive states.”
Across North Carolina, Arizona, and Nevada, about half of respondents in all three states reported being extremely or very concerned about climate change. When looking at Black and Hispanic respondents, approximately 60% in each state are very or extremely concerned. Despite political and racial differences, respondents overwhelmingly agree that climate is a key issue, and about two-third of respondents in all three states believe that climate change
plays some kind of role in extreme weather events.
“The broad acknowledgement of the reality of climate change also translates into support for climate change solutions,” continued Grant. “Nearly 8 out of 10 Hispanic respondents in Arizona believe that installing energy efficient appliances would be impactful when addressing climate change - something incentivized in the Inflation Reduction Act drafted by senators Chuck Schumer and Joe Manchin - as a climate solution. And at least 80% of respondents in each state agree, identifying increasing energy efficiency as somewhat to extremely impactful.
A likely driver of the increased bipartisan agreement on climate is that everyone – progressive or conservative, white or Black or Brown – feels its impacts. As the hottest month of the year unfolds, many suffer from extreme heat. About 8 out of 10 respondents in Nevada and Arizona reported having experienced extremely hot weather or heat waves, while 66 percent of North Carolinians report the same. According to the poll, approximately 25% of respondents across all states report suffering heat sickness from working outside. For Hispanic communities in North Carolina and Arizona, that statistic increases to 35%.
In addition to the health risks, climate change is also an economic risk as well, according to this data. Extreme heat translates to higher energy bills, forcing many working families to turn off the air conditioning to keep costs low. A staggering 41% of Black respondents in North Carolina and more than 50% of Hispanic respondents in Arizona and Nevada have struggled to pay their energy bills due to high air conditioning usage.
“When voters head to the polls this fall in these key battleground states - whether progressive or conservative - they will be looking for leaders who are ready to address climate change and invest in the green economy,” said Grant. “There are numerous bipartisan solutions to our environmental and economic problems that can diversify our energy mix, create lucrative jobs, and tackle the most pressing crisis of the century. And, by targeting disadvantaged communities, we can do it while uplifting communities of color, creating promising career pathways for Black and Brown job seekers, and preserving public health.”