PHOENIX, AZ | December 10, 2020
Today, the American Lung Association released a new poll conducted by Global Strategy Group showing that Arizona voters overwhelmingly recognize that climate change represents a significant present-day threat and strongly support actions to boost renewable energy and electric vehicles. The poll follows recent state action to increase renewable energy usage.
The poll found that 78% of voters view climate change as a serious problem, with more than half (54%) of Arizona voters viewing climate change as a VERY serious problem or crisis. Notably, two-thirds of voters agree that climate change is already having an impact on the American southwest and 62 percent believe that failure to act will result in climate change SOON being as big of a problem as the coronavirus.
“As impacts of climate change become more apparent in the forms of extreme heat, drought and wildfires, Arizona voters know the need to act has never been clearer,” said JoAnna Strother, Senior Advocacy Director with the American Lung Association in Arizona. “Our poll makes clear that Arizonans are tuned in to the realities of our climate challenge and are ready for action. The Lung Association’s new Road to Clean Air report finds that a transition to electric vehicles in Arizona could prevent more than 125 premature deaths and avoid nearly $1.5 billion in health costs annually,” added Strother.
This poll follows the November Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) decision to require utilities to get 100 percent of their power from carbon-free energy sources like wind and solar by 2050. This requirement, and additional efforts to increase the use of zero emission transportation choices, have broad support among voters. A full 70 percent of voters support the requirement for Arizona utilities to get 100 percent of energy from carbon free sources by 2050. Even after hearing a balanced debate on the ACC rule, including strong arguments that reflect the language being used by opponents of the standards, nearly two-thirds (64%) of voters continue to support this action.
Additional findings from the poll include:
• Over 80 percent of voters support greater investment in energy efficiency, and 79 percent believe that Arizona should utilize more solar power.
• Polices to expand the use of electric vehicles have strong support, including transitioning public fleets (transit and school buses, government-owned cars, etc.) to fully electric vehicles (70%); providing consumer incentives for electric vehicle purchases (69%) and investing in publicly available infrastructure for charging electric vehicles along major highways and roads (69%).
• Two-thirds of voters agree that investments in clean energy should benefit the communities most impacted by pollution, including Black, Hispanic, and Native American communities.
• 79% of voters believe America should make significant investments in clean energy as part of our efforts to rebuild the economy.
• Even after hearing strong opposition messaging, Arizona voters believe that enacting the plan to require utilities to use 100% carbon-free power by 2050 will have positive impacts not only on air quality, climate change, and public health, but also on families like theirs, Arizona’s economy, and their own personal finances.
“After hearing strong arguments from both supporters and opponents of the plan to require utilities to cut carbon emissions in half by 2032 and get 100% of their electricity from clean, carbon-free sources by 2050, Arizona voters support the plan by more than two to one,” said Andrew Baumann of Global Strategy Group. “Arizona voters across the political spectrum overwhelmingly want their policy makers to act to boost clean energy, energy efficiency, and electric vehicles.”
For media interested in speaking with local air quality or lung health professionals, please contact the American Lung Association at [email protected].
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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