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Few people have heard of Biden’s climate policy, even those who care most – CBS News poll

President Joe Biden delivered a speech climate change a key issue in his 2020 campaign. Three years into his presidency, what do those who care most about this topic think of what he has done? What do they know?

Few Americans say they have heard much about what the administration has done on climate change. This extends to members of the president’s own party and those who consider the issue of climate change very important. Half of them haven’t heard much, if anything, about what the administration has done.

And perhaps that’s why those who prioritize climate change feel somewhat dissatisfied: more of them think the president has done too little, rather than what was needed, to try to address it. reduce.

But they like the Biden administration’s policies when they hear about them.

Climate change: an important issue for Biden’s base

Climate change is not the most important issue for Americans in general; it tracks economic issues and issues like crime and immigration. But most Democrats, liberals, those who voted for Mr. Biden in 2020, and many young people place a lot of emphasis on this issue. These groups will be crucial for Mr. Biden in November.


Only 10% of Americans who consider climate change a very important issue have heard or read much about what the Biden administration has done so far to address it. And when assessing the Biden administration, many believe it has done too little to address it.

When presented with some of the Biden administration’s climate change policies, a majority of those who place high importance on climate change — from strengthening regulations to reducing toxic chemicals in drinking water, through tax reductions for the purchase of an electric vehicle – have favored these policies. .

Even those who believe the administration has not done enough to combat climate change support these policies. So perhaps it’s more about Mr. Biden needing to get his message across than needing to convince this “climate constituency” – those who view the climate issue as very important – of the substance of his policies.

What is the “climate constituency” looking for?

Nine in ten people who rate the climate issue as very important support the country taking action to stop or slow the rate of climate change, and if they had to choose, they would overwhelmingly prioritize protecting the Earth’s climate over to energy production.

And most agree with the administration and Democratic leaders that efforts to reduce climate change would help the economy rather than hurt it, putting them at odds with those who give little or no credit of importance to this question.

2024 presidential candidates and climate change

Although this “climate constituency” would like to see Mr. Biden do more, they prefer his approach to climate change and energy policy to that of former President Donald Trump. It’s the general public that isn’t convinced, and that’s on top of Mr. Biden even walking around with Trump among the people being asked whose approach on the issue they most agree with. More than a quarter choose neither.

Americans who think the issue of climate change is very important and those who want an energy policy that moves away from fossil fuels toward renewable energy sources prefer Mr. Biden’s approach on climate and energy , while those who place little importance on climate change and those who want to encourage more fossil fuel production favor Trump’s approach.

It also sharply reduces partisanship, although independents — who believe efforts to combat climate change will hurt rather than help their finances — lean more toward Trump’s approach than Mr. Biden’s.

Looking ahead, some are skeptical that either candidate will be able to do much about climate change if elected in November.

Overall, more think Mr. Biden will slow the pace of climate change and more think Trump will increase it, while half think it will make no difference, whoever wins in 2024.

Americans with a more fatalistic view of climate change — who think humanity can’t do anything about climate change or who think it doesn’t exist — are most likely to say the election won’t make a difference.

This CBS News/YouGov survey was conducted among a nationally representative sample of 2,230 adult U.S. residents surveyed between April 16 and 19, 2024. The sample was weighted based on gender, age, race and education based on the U.S. Census of the American Community and Current Demographic Survey, as well as past voting. The margin of error is ±2.7 points.

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