A growing majority of U.S. Republicans, especially younger voters, are worried that human behavior is damaging the planet, according to a survey of global attitudes to the environment conducted by an Amsterdam-based polling agency.
President Donald Trump, a Republican, has said he will pull the United States out of the 2015 Paris climate accord involving nearly 200 countries and has reversed environmental protections put in place by his Democratic predecessor Barack Obama.
Trump skipped a meeting on climate change during last weekend’s G7 summit in France and said he would not let “dreams” undermine U.S. dominance in fossil fuel production.
The new report by Glocalities, which canvassed views worldwide, showed the number of U.S. Republicans who said they “agreed” or “strongly agreed” with the statement “I worry about the damage humans cause the planet” rose by 11 percentage points to 58% between 2014 and 2019.
The number of Republican voters aged 18-34 who are worried about the issue rose by 18 percentage points to 67%, said the poll, which also showed a 10 percentage point increase among all U.S. Republicans who said they tried “to live eco-consciously”.
“When looking deeper into the data it becomes clear that the highest rise in environmental concern (worldwide) is visible among younger Republicans,” said Glocalities pollster Martijn Lampert, who predicted that shifting views on the environment would influence the next U.S. election in 2020.
“If Donald Trump keeps on denying climate change and refrains from standing up for the environment he won’t be able to increase support among the young and be heavily reliant on older generations of Republican voters for winning again,” Lampert said.