One in four Americans considering postponing major life decisions for fear of climate change: Survey – The Hill

The story at a glance


  • Thousands of adults are considering delaying major life decisions like having children because of climate change concerns.

  • A new study by Elabe and Veolia North America found that climate change is affecting decision-making around major events for one in four US adults.

  • Most Americans believe that people need to change their lifestyles and live more frugally to fight climate change, the poll found.

A quarter of US adults are considering putting off major life events like having children because of concerns about climate change A new survey.

The 25,000-person survey, conducted by research firm Elabay and the North American arm of water, waste and energy management firm Veolia, was released Tuesday.

With survey participants living in 25 different countries, Elabe and Veolia took a particular interest in gauging US views on climate change.


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Most U.S. adults — 80 percent — believe the climate is changing, with 60 percent saying they believe the phenomenon is caused by humans, the poll found.

Of the survey participants in the United States, 510 were women and 490 were men, with more than half between the ages of 18 and 49.

US survey participants came from all parts of the country, with 350 reporting living in the South, 230 in the West, 220 in the Midwest, and 190 in the Northeast.

“They share a sense of urgency with the rest of the world,” said Frederic Van Himes, president and CEO of Veolia North America, about U.S. views on climate change.

“The results tell us that Americans think it’s time to act, and they’re eager to address the challenges of climate change with innovative solutions that conserve our precious resources.”

More than half of U.S. adults — 55 percent — believe humanity needs to change its “way of life, live more frugally and deploy technological solutions to reduce climate change,” according to the survey.

Meanwhile, 52 percent don’t think there is enough public conversation about solutions to pollution and climate change.

Van Himes added that the study’s findings also show that many in the United States remain “skeptical” about climate change.

Climate change skepticism in the US is higher than the global average, survey finds. In the United States, 14 percent of adults don’t believe the planet’s climate is changing or that anything should be done about it, compared with 9 percent globally, according to the survey.

This level of skepticism is why it is “so important” to show that “environmental solutions can and must be matched by economic growth,” Van Hims added.

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