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Data Point: The bipartisan consensus for climate action

Democrats and Republicans back a plan to plant about a trillion trees worldwide to absorb carbon emissions.
Democrats and Republicans back a plan to plant about a trillion trees worldwide to absorb carbon emissions.MICHAEL TEWELDE/AFP via Getty Images

A new Pew Research Center survey finds Democrats and Republicans are, in some ways, just as divided on climate change as ever.

Seventy-two percent of Democrats and those who lean toward the Democratic Party say that human activity is contributing a great deal to climate change, while just 22 percent of Republicans and those who lean toward the GOP say the same.

Similarly, 83 percent of Democrats say climate change is affecting their own communities a great deal or some, compared to 37 percent of Republicans.

Nonetheless, the online poll of nearly 11,000 American adults, conducted from April 29 to May 5, also found a bipartisan consensus emerging for action on climate change.

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Big majorities of Democrats (92 percent) and Republicans (88 percent) support a plan to plant about a trillion trees to absorb carbon dioxide emissions, an international effort that has attracted some GOP support in Congress.

Democrats and Republicans also favor, in large numbers, a House GOP plan to extend business tax credits for technology that captures carbon emissions before they reach the atmosphere.

There is a wider split on other proposals the Pew survey tested: tougher restrictions on power plant emissions, taxing corporations based on their emissions, and more robust fuel efficiency standards for cars. In all three cases, Democrats were much more likely to support the policies. But a majority of Republicans backed each of them.

One interesting split among Republicans: 45 percent of those who live less than 25 miles from the coastline say climate change is affecting their communities, compared to 31 percent who live 300 miles or more from the water.


David Scharfenberg can be reached at david.scharfenberg@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @dscharfGlobe