So far, the 2019 clean energy discussion has been dominated by the so-called Green New Deal, which most conservative analysts believe is a very misguided approach to addressing climate change. But more importantly, what does the general public think about it?
Fortunately, CRES Forum recently released the results from a new national survey conducted in mid-February with over a thousand participants. The study examined climate change opinions held by Republicans, as well as the wider voting public.
The bottom line is that voters are unsure about the Green New Deal and want an alternative. Fully 70 percent of likely voters and 68 percent of the Republican voters polled think that Congressional Republicans should present their own set of solutions to reduce carbon emissions. From a purely political perspective, it’s clear the GOP could win over many voters with a more realistic comprehensive clean energy proposal.
Presenting climate policy that works with American business is essential—if it’s going to be effective and sustainable. Top businesses are already taking steps to reduce their own carbon emissions. Companies like these should be incentivized for their work, and a conservative plan could reflect that.
Conservatives know this, so it is no surprise that the CRES Forum survey also found that 44 percent of Republicans would support a policy that rewards those who cut their emissions and use more clean energy. That’s actually two points higher than the 42 percent of voters who supported the idea overall.
The numbers show that a voluntary federal framework and other ideas could prove to be a strong counter proposal to the Green New Deal. It is essential that Republicans address the climate challenge, and policies that grow the economy, create jobs, and strengthen national security will appeal to a broad range of voters.