Survey: Young Americans want more action on addressing climate change | The Numbers Racket

By: - June 28, 2021 6:30 am

Image courtesy of Pixabay.

Facing a potentially dire future, Gen Z and Millennial Americans are more active in the fight against climate change than their Gen X or Baby Boomer counterparts, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center. 


Seventy-one percent of Millennials and 67 percent of Gen Zers say that climate change should be a priority to ensure a sustainable planet for future generations, according to the report. 

For Gen Zers, who were born after 1996, addressing climate change is a top personal concern (37 percent) compared to just 29 percent of Boomers, 27 percent of Gen X and 33 percent of Millennials who say the same. 

Alternatives & Solutions

More than 70 percent of Americans continue to say that the U.S. should prioritize the development of alternative energy sources, such as solar and wind, over expanding oil, coal and gas production. 

In fact, nearly two-thirds of Americans say the U.S. should use a mix of energy sources in the future. Just 33 percent support phasing out fossil fuels entirely. 

Engaging on the Issue

Gen Z and Millennials stood out in Pew’s survey for high levels of engagement on the issue of climate change when compared to other generations of Americans. 

Thirty-two percent of Gen Zers and 28 percent of Millennials have taken at least one of four actions, including donating money, contacting an elected official or volunteering or attending a rally, to help address climate change in the last year. Just 23 percent of Gen Xers and 21 percent of Baby Boomers said the same. 

Political Inclinations

While younger adults tend to identify with or lean Democratic in their party affiliation, Pew reports that generational differences in climate change attitudes are not necessarily a reflection of a Democratic ideology. 

Forty-nine percent of Gen Z and 48 percent of Millennial Republicans (including Republican leaners) say action to reduce the effects of climate change needs to be prioritized today, even if that means fewer resources to deal with other important problems; significantly fewer Gen X (37 percent) and Baby Boomer and older (26 percent) Republicans say the same.

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Cassie Miller
Cassie Miller

A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry.