Republicans split by age on climate change

February 03, 2016, 7:57 PM GMT+0

Republicans under the age of 45 tend to believe that human beings are causing climate change, something older Republicans disagree with

A number of mayors in southern Florida, including the mayor of Miami, wrote an open letter to Florida Senator and major presidential candidate Marco Rubio calling upon him to drop his climate skepticism. Much of southern Florida has faced ever more severe and frequent floods as the global sea level inches up. Florida is widely regarded as being one of the most at-risk states for climate change, something reflected in insurers' reluctance to offer protection from storms and flooding in much of the state.

Research from YouGov shows that most Americans (53%) believe that climate change is happening and that it is a result of human activity. Only 9% of the country denies that climate change is happening, but 28% of Americans believe that it is not due to human activity. Of this 28% only 12% say that the recent dramatic increases in global temperature are unprecedented - 80% say that these changes in temperature are normal.

Republicans are widely skeptical of human-caused climate change, with 41% saying that it is happening but not because of humans and 13% denying that the climate is even changing. There is a significant gap between older and younger Republicans on this issue, however. Republicans under the age of 45 (41%) tend to accept the scientific consensus that climate change is due to humans, something only 23% of Republicans aged 45 or older accept.

The youngest Americans overwhelmingly accept that climate change is due to human activity, with 72% of under-30s saying that climate change is human caused. In fact only among over-65s is the proportion accepting human caused climate change less than a majority.

Among Democrats there is very little age difference. 78% of Democrats under 45 believe climate change is due to human activity, along with 75% of Democrats aged 45 and over.

Full poll results can be found here and topline results and margin of error here.