Evangelicals support some climate mitigation policies

Most evangelicals in America support climate-change and energy policies such as investing in renewable energy research and increasing fuel efficiency, according to a study in Global Environmental Change.

The researchers surveyed 2,164 Americans in 2008, about a quarter of whom said they were evangelical or “born again” Christians. Each person was asked for his or her opinion on global warming, its causes, and various policies intended to address the effects of climate change.

Sixty-one percent of evangelicals agreed that the Earth was warming, compared to 78 percent of non-evangelicals. Evangelicals were also less likely to believe that people were causing climate change or to say that they were worried about the consequences.

While evangelicals showed less support for climate change mitigation policies than non-evangelicals, the majority still approved of several of these policies. For example, about 90 percent agreed that renewable energy research should be funded, and more than 70 percent said that the government should require more fuel-efficient cars and regulate carbon dioxide emissions. However, most evangelicals didn’t like the idea of raising the gas tax or creating a US carbon market. — Roberta Kwok | 5 June 2013

Source: Smith, N. and A. Leiserowitz. 2013. American evangelicals and global warming. Global Environmental Change doi: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2013.04.001.

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