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.
Ashley's War tells the poignant and gripping story of a groundbreaking team of female American warriors who served alongside Special Operations soldiers in Afghanistan. More
Smith's insightful book explores the policy issues testing the Japanese government as it tries to navigate its relationship with an advancing China. More
This revolutionary new look at volatility and crisis in oil markets explores the conditions in which oil supply fears arise, gain popularity, and eventually wane. 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.
Williams argues that the status quo for peace operations in untenable and that greater U.S. involvement is necessary to enhance the quality and success of peacekeeping missions.
The authors argue that the United States has responded inadequately to the rise of Chinese power and recommend placing less strategic emphasis on the goal of integrating China into the international system and more on balancing China's rise.
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.
Learn more about CFRâ€™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.
Read and download »
To request permission to reprint or reuse CFR material, please fill out this permissions request form (PDF), referring to the instructions on page 1.
The United States and a growing number of countries have intensified sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, weakening its economy, but...
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave this statement regarding Iran on September 14, 2012.
Meghan L. O'Sullivan says sanctions may help, but economic pain can't be the sole pressure point on Iran.
Talks in Baghdad reflect Iran's new willingness to discuss its nuclear program, but sanctions may not sting enough to make it change course,...