Story at a glance
- Thousands of adults are considering delaying major life decisions like having children due to concerns about climate change.
- A new survey from Elabe and Veolia North America found that climate change is impacting the decision-making around major events for one in four U.S. adults.
- Most Americans believe that humans need to change their way of life and live more frugally in order to combat climate change, the survey found.
A quarter of U.S. adults are considering putting off big life events like having children over concerns about climate change, according to a new survey.
The 25,000-person survey crafted by research firm Elabe and the North American branch of Veolia, a water, waste and energy management company, was released Tuesday.
While survey participants lived in 25 different countries, Elabe and Veolia took a special interest in gauging U.S. opinions on climate change.
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Most adults in the U.S. — 80 percent — believe that climate change is taking place, with 60 percent saying they believe the phenomenon is caused by humans, the survey found.
Out of the survey participants in the U.S., 510 were women and 490 were men, with over half being between the ages of 18 and 49.
U.S. survey participants came from all parts of the country, with 350 reporting they lived 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 President and CEO of Veolia North American Frederic Van Heems about U.S. opinions on climate change.
“The results tell us that Americans feel it is time to act, and that they are eager to address the challenges of climate change with innovative solutions that preserve our precious resources.”
More than half of U.S. adults — 55 percent — believe that humanity needs to change its “way of life, live more frugally and put in place technological solutions to reduce climate change,” according to the survey.
Meanwhile, 52 percent do not think there is enough public conversation about solutions to pollution and climate change.
Van Heems added that the results of the study also show that there are many in the U.S. who “remain skeptical” about climate change.
Skepticism about climate change in the U.S is higher than the global average, the survey found. In the U.S., 14 percent of adults do not believe the planet’s climate is changing or that anything should be done about it compared to 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 coincide with economic growth,” Van Heems added.
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