Arizona voters increasingly recognize climate change as a crisis and strongly support actions to shift the state’s investments away from fossil fuels and toward clean energy sources and technologies, according to a new poll released today by the American Lung Association.
The poll, conducted by Global Strategy Group, found that 84% of voters view air pollution as a serious problem, and 78% view climate change as such. It is important to note that an increasing percentage of voters (30%) now consider climate change a “CRISIS” (up from 22% in our 2020 poll) with 55% viewing climate change as at least a “VERY SERIOUS” concern.
Two-thirds of Arizona voters (67%) believe climate change is already having serious impacts on the region and they maintained high levels of concern (76-80%) that ongoing reliance on fossil fuels impacts Arizona in specific ways, including wildfires, droughts, extreme heat and degraded air quality.
“The impacts of poor air quality and climate change are real, and increasingly understood by Arizonans,” said Elizabeth Walton, Executive Director of the American Lung Association in Arizona. “We must demand stronger actions today to reduce harmful pollution and protect the public health.”
The poll comes as the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) is set to modernize the state’s Energy Rules that would require utilities to meet a 50% carbon reduction by 2032. The poll found strong support (75%) among Arizona voters for shifting investments away from fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas and toward clean, non-combustion energy sources and technologies like wind, solar and zero-emission vehicles.
Even after a balanced debate on the issue of energy investments, voters resoundingly support (68%) the transition away from fossil fuels. Respondents believe doing so will have positive impacts on air quality (76%) and climate change (68%), as well as the health of their families (68%), seniors and children (64%), jobs and the economy (57%).
“It is clear that Arizonans are deeply concerned about air pollution and climate change and understand the benefits of shifting away from harmful fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas,” said JoAnna Strother, Senior Advocacy Director for the American Lung Association in Arizona. “Policies that clean our air and safeguard healthy environments are popular, and our policymakers need to act. An immediate opportunity to do this is for the Arizona Corporation Commission to adopt the pending Clean Energy Rules.”
Additional findings from the poll include:
– Over two-thirds of voters (69%) support requirements that Arizona utilities get 50% of their electricity from clean, carbon-free energy like wind and solar by the year 2035 and 100% of their electricity from carbon-free sources by 2050
– 68% support investing state money to transition one-fifth of Arizona’s school buses from diesel-powered vehicles to electric, zero-emission buses
– Over eight-in-ten (82%) support providing assistance for homeowners and renters to increase the energy efficiency of their homes and reduce energy use
– Two-thirds support policies that will transition public fleets like school buses to all-electric vehicles (67%) investing in publicly available electric vehicle charging infrastructure (66%), and support consumer incentives to encourage the purchase of electric vehicles (66%).
“After hearing strong arguments from both supporters and opponents, Arizona voters strongly support shifting investments away from fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas and toward clean energy” said Andrew Baumann of Global Strategy Group. “Across the political spectrum, Arizona voters overwhelmingly want their policymakers to act to boost clean energy and believe doing so will have a range of benefits to health, air quality, the climate, and the economy.”
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.
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