Earlier this week, a report commissioned by the United Nations issued a dire warning about the next decade of climate change. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, global average temperatures are expected to rise above the 1.5 degrees Celsius warming threshold outlined in the 2015 Paris agreement by the first half of the 2030s. This has long been viewed as a benchmark to fend off “catastrophic” warming effects like severe weather events, heat waves, droughts, and food shortages.
According to the latest CivicScience data, a majority of U.S. adults (66%) think it’s at least ‘somewhat likely’ they’ll personally experience observable effects of climate change within the next decade – with 40% who think it’s ‘very likely.’
The partisan split on the issue is especially pronounced, with registered Democrats more than three times as likely as registered Republicans to say they’re ‘very likely’ to experience observable effects (63% compared to 20%). But a significant portion of Republicans – 41% – think they’re at least ‘somewhat likely’ to personally experience changes in the next decade, though it’s still less than half of the figure for Democrats (83%).
This new report comes on the heels of declining concern for climate change. After reaching a high of 67% for adults claiming to be ‘very or somewhat’ concerned about climate change in 2019 and 2020, the figure dropped five percentage points in the 2022 average (62%). Thus far in 2023, the downward trend has continued, with 61% now claiming to be ‘very or somewhat’ concerned about climate change.
The most recent CivicScience data about observable climate change effects over the next decade is a strong predictor of electric vehicle intent. Forty percent of U.S. adults who think they’re ‘very likely’ to experience effects of climate change intend to buy an EV in the future – and 30% of those who clock in at ‘somewhat likely’ say the same. While an overwhelming majority of those who think they’re ‘not at all likely’ to be personally impacted by climate change in the next decade are not interested in EVs, 9% intend to buy one and an additional 5% already own one or more – which suggests other motivators, like fuel cost and durability, outweighing the environmental benefits for some consumers.
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