To get at the heart of the public’s views on a number of energy and climate change issues up for debate, EPIC partners with The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research to conduct annual public opinion polls.

The latest /AP-NORC poll explored Americans’ attitudes on climate change, their views on key climate and energy policies, and how they feel about electric vehicles and the policies to encourage them. Among the highlights, the poll finds Americans continue to be open to purchasing electric vehicles, but are deterred by cost, range, charging capacity, and a lack of charging stations. When given a choice, Americans are also willing to pay a premium for an American-made electric vehicle over one made in China. They also view a host of climate policies as important for the next president to address and, with the exception of older Republicans, do not support the expansion of fossil fuels.

What else have the EPIC/AP-NORC polls gleaned about public opinion on climate change and energy?

All 2024 Charts      2024 Fact Sheets      Full 2024 Poll Results

Americans’ Attitudes on Climate Change

  • After a several year decline in the belief of human-driven climate change, support rebounded, with 54% agreeing humans are the primary driver.
  • 40% of young Republicans say they believe in human-driven climate change, up from 26% in 2017. Older Republicans didn’t change their beliefs.
  • 89% report experiencing extreme weather—among them, 55% say their views on climate have been influenced by such events and 26% have considered moving due to its impacts.

Americans’ Views on Climate and Energy Policy

  • Nearly 6 in 10 Americans support measures to regulate emissions, with a sharp partisan divide.
  • Young Republicans are more supportive of clean energy and less supportive of fossil fuel development than older Republicans.
  • Most are unwilling to pay a monthly carbon fee, but 58% say companies should pay a carbon tax—while they also say individuals bear the least and companies/government the most responsibility to address climate change.
  • Republicans say rapidly developing countries like India and China bear the greatest responsibility to address climate change.

    “Americans’ reported willingness to pay a carbon fee reveals the complicated politics of carbon pricing. Less than half of Americans would pay even $1 per month, but the average willingness to pay across the entire adult population is about $36 per month, up from $31 last year. The average is driven by the quarter of respondents who are willing to pay $100 or more per month. Still, Americans’ willingness to pay for climate policy is far below the US EPA’s recent announcement that the costs of climate change have quadrupled, based on EPIC’s Climate Impact Lab.” – Michael Greenstone, director of EPIC and the Milton Friedman Distinguished Service Professor in Economics at the University of Chicago.

Americans’ Views on Electric Vehicles

  • Most Americans would prefer an American-made EV over one made in China—6 in 10 would pay $5,000 more for the American-made vehicle.
  • Two-thirds say they don’t know of charging stations nearby, regardless of whether respondents live in a rural, suburban or urban area. This, along with cost, range, and charging time, are the top barriers keeping Americans from purchasing an EV.
  • Saving money on gas topped the list of why Americans would purchase an EV, with two-thirds saying reducing their impact on climate change motivates them to buy.

“Climate issues have topped the agenda for Democrats for a number of years, but this poll suggests generational change may increase the salience among Republicans as well. Compared to older Republicans, the younger generation of the party is more likely to believe climate change is happening, that human factors are causing it, and to prioritize a clean energy industry in the U.S.” – Jennifer Benz, deputy director of The AP-NORC Center.

More on the 2024 Poll…