Climate wind shift? 81-percent support Green New Deal

Political winds appear to be shifting in favor of greener climate change policy.

A new Yale Program on Climate Communication survey shows 81-percent of registered voters now support the proposed Green New Deal. The survey shows support from 92-percent of Democratic voters and 64-percent of Republicans.

The “Deal” supports 100-percent clean, renewable electricity within 10 years; upgrades U.S. energy grids, buildings, and transportation infrastructure, and provides job training for the new green economy.

The survey marks a high level of support for the recent climate change policy proposal.

Some members of Congress are proposing a “Green New Deal” for the U.S. They say that a Green New Deal will produce jobs and strengthen America’s economy by accelerating the transition from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy. The Deal would generate 100% of the nation’s electricity from clean, renewable sources within the next 10 years; upgrade the nation’s energy grid, buildings, and transportation infrastructure; increase energy efficiency; invest in green technology research and development; and provide training for jobs in the new green economy.

While the Green New Deal has been a fixture of the post-election news cycle, and at least 40 members of Congress (to date) have endorsed the idea, little is known about the American public’s support for or opposition to it. To inform this question, we surveyed a nationally-representative sample of registered voters in the United States.

In the survey, we showed respondents a brief description of the Green New Deal, which was identical to the first paragraph of this report (above). The description was followed by the question “How much do you support or oppose this idea?”

The survey results show overwhelming support for the Green New Deal, with 81% of registered voters saying they either “strongly support” (40%) or “somewhat support” (41%) this plan.

“Deal” still unknown

It’s remarkable to see over 80-percent of registered voters in support of the ideas in the Green New Deal plan. Yet the vast majority of respondents have not yet heard of the plan.

It’s interesting to note the description of the Deal does not indicate who proposed the plan.

Notably, although our description of the Deal accurately provided details about the proposal, it did not mention that the Green New Deal is championed by Democratic members of Congress such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and John Lewis (D-GA). Other research has shown that people evaluate policies more negatively when they are told it is backed by politicians from an opposing political party. Conversely, people evaluate the same policy more positively when told it is backed by politicians from their own party.

Therefore, these findings may indicate that although most Republicans and conservatives are in favor of the Green New Deal’s policies in principle, they are not yet aware that this plan is proposed by the political Left. For any survey respondents who were previously unaware of the Deal, it is likely that their reactions have not yet been influenced by partisan loyalty.

Political preconceptions may change support going forward. But the naked truth appears to be that the vast majority of Americans support green climate policy as described in the survey.

Stay tuned.