The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) just released the results of it annual statewide survey on environmental issues in California. Despite difficult economic times, climate change is still important to Californians with 54% stating that the effects of global warming are already being felt, and 21% stating that these effects will be felt in the very near future.
The PPIC survey also polled Californians on the state’s landmark clean energy and climate legislation AB 32 and the possibility that the law could be suspended via Proposition 23. Over two-thirds of Californians favor AB 32 and about 50% believe that not enough is being done by state and federal governments to combat climate change. Less than one in four Californians are buying the claims of Prop 23 proponents that clean energy and pollution reduction laws hurt jobs. In fact, when asked how the state’s climate policy would affect employment, 45% of Californians stated it would create more jobs.
In addition, the survey shows that 85% of the state favors the increased use of renewable energy, while over 75% favor increased energy efficiency and a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from both vehicles and industrial sectors. SB 375 (Steinberg) from 2008, which aims to decrease emissions by limiting urban sprawl and the amount of vehicles miles traveled at the local and regional level, also enjoys broad support according to the new poll. 77% of Californians favor local governments changing “land use and transportation planning” in order to decrease greenhouse gas emissions.
This poll makes clear, once again, that Californians understand that clean energy and smart climate policy will not only benefit the environment and public health, but can be a really boost to efforts to improve our economy.