Why Climate Change Keeps Failing at the Ballot Box

More Americans than ever believe climate change is happening. Two in three registered voters say they’re worried about it. Four in ten say it’s a “very important” factor in their vote in the 2020 presidential election. And 49% say that they’d be more likely to vote for a candidate who “Strongly Supports Taking Action to Reduce Global Warming” vs 16% who say they’d be less likely.

But that popular support for action hasn’t been translated into actual bold steps to reduce America’s reliance on fossil fuels. And the greenhouse gases those fuels cause are a big reason that the planet is on course to exceed the 2 degrees of global warming scientists say would mean permanent, dangerous climate change.

So why’s there this big discrepancy? Meet the biggest obstacle to US action on climate change: the Attitude-Behavior gap.