November 19, 2009
This publication is now archived.
Most Americans say that global warming is a problem or a threat. Only small minorities say it is not a problem. Concern about climate change, while increasing for some years, may be leveling out. Large majorities believe that human activity plays a role in climate change. Download full chapter (PDF).
A large majority of Americans support taking action to address the problem of climate change. More often than not majorities favor taking major steps, urgently. A modest majority thinks that the U.S. government should do more than it is currently doing to address climate change. Americans tend to underestimate how ready other Americans are to support taking action, however. There is strong support for participation in an international treaty to limit climate change. Most Americans believe that it will be necessary for people to change their lifestyle in order to reduce their production of climate-changing gasses. Readiness to take action is highly related to levels of information regarding climate change and the perception that there is scientific consensus on the reality of climate change. Download full chapter (PDF).
To motivate changes in energy usage, most Americans believe that it will be necessary to increase the cost of energy that causes climate change. The idea of raising taxes on such forms of energy meets with mixed responses. But if the revenues of such a tax are earmarked to address the problem of climate change or are offset with tax reductions, support becomes much higher. Also, a large majority of Americans say that in order to address climate change they would be willing to pay more for renewable energy. Download full chapter (PDF).
To reduce reliance on oil and coal, a large majority of Americans favor creating tax incentives to encourage alternative energy sources, requiring automakers to increase fuel efficiency, and building new nuclear power plants. Download full chapter (PDF).
A majority of Americans—along with most people in developing and developed countries alike—think that developing countries have a responsibility to limit their greenhouse-gas emissions in an effort to deal with climate change. There is also a consensus that developed countries should provide aid as part of a deal to help developing countries commit to limiting their emissions. If developing countries refuse to limit their emissions, most Americans think the United States should nonetheless proceed to limit its own emissions. Download full chapter (PDF).
Americans say that multilateral cooperation on climate change is very important, but give the United States a mediocre rating in advancing this objective. A large majority believes there should be a new international institution to monitor compliance with climate treaty obligations. Download full chapter (PDF).
A majority of Americans disapprove of how the United States has handled the problem of climate change. Most Americans regarded China as the worst offender in harming the global environment, while most other nations blame the United States. Americans retain a large amount of trust in their own country to protect the environment, while Germany has the best ratings globally. Download full chapter (PDF).
CFR experts examine domestic and foreign policy questions surrounding energy, security, and climate change.
Edward Alden and others explore ideas and initiatives for rebuilding American economic strength.
Shannon K. O’Neil analyzes developments in Latin America and U.S. relations in the region.
Kurlantzick offers the sharpest analysis yet of what state capitalism’s emergence means for democratic politics around the world. More
In a cogent analysis of why the United States is losing ground as a world power, Blackwill and Harris explore the statecraft of geoeconomics. More
Takeyh and Simon reframe the legacy of U.S. involvement in the Arab world from 1945 to 1991 and shed new light on the makings of the contemporary Middle East. More
India now matters to U.S. interests in virtually every dimension. This Independent Task Force report assesses the current situation in India and the U.S.-India relationship, and suggests a new model for partnership with a rising India.
Rates of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in low- and middle-income countries are increasing faster than in wealthier countries. The report outlines a plan for collective action on this growing epidemic.
This report asserts that elevating and prioritizing the U.S.-Canada-Mexico relationship offers the best opportunity for strengthening the United States and its place in the world.
To ensure the success of Myanmar's historic democratic transition, the United States should revise its outdated and counterproductive sanctions policy.
Blackwill and Campbell analyze the rise of Chinese President Xi Jinping and call for a new American grand strategy for Asia.
Williams argues that greater U.S. involvement is necessary to enhance the quality and success of peacekeeping missions.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2015 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass.
Read and download »
Critics of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech to Congress last year attacking the Iran nuclear deal were certain it would harm Israel’s...
The visit of Pope Francis cast a spotlight on U.S. climate policies, which rely on executive action to chase emission reduction targets...
Pope Francis spoke before a joint session of Congress on September 24, 2015, the first time a pope has spoken to Congress. He discussed...
Climate talks have largely failed to curb rising temperatures, but bottom-up initiatives featuring subnational actors hold great promise if...