November 19, 2009
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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.
Maximalist finds lessons in the past that anticipate and clarify our chaotic present, revealing the history of U.S. foreign policy in an unexpected new light. More
This clear and authoritative book presents a sweeping account of China's global resource quest and the unrivaled expansion of its economy. More
The story of the tragic and often tormented relationship between the United States and Pakistan, and a call to prepare for the worst, aim for the best, and avoid past mistakes. More
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 Independent Task Force outlines a plan for collective action on this growing epidemic.
This Independent Task Force 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.
Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
Koblentz argues that the United States should work with other nuclear-armed states to manage threats to nuclear stability in the near term and establish processes for multilateral arms control efforts over the longer term.
The authors argue that it is essential to begin working now to expand and establish rules and norms governing armed drones, thereby creating standards of behavior that other countries will be more likely to follow.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2014 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.
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