Poll: Overwhelming Majority of Latinos Want Strong Presidential Action to Combat Climate...

Poll: Overwhelming Majority of Latinos Want Strong Presidential Action to Combat Climate Change

Pollsters: In Comparable Surveys on Latino Priorities, Only Immigration Reform Scored Higher Levels of Intensity


WASHINGTON, Jan. 23, 2014 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — An overwhelming majority
of Latinos in the U.S. want strong presidential action to curb the threat of
climate change, according to new poll conducted for the Natural Resources
Defense Council by Latino Decisions.

“Here’s an important message for our political leaders, and it cuts across
party lines: Latinos intensely support taking action on climate change and
fighting air pollution,”
said Adrianna Quintero, senior attorney for NRDC
and Founder of Voces Verdes. “Latinos in the United States recognize the
threat that climate change poses to the well being of our families and the
future of our community in this country and abroad, and want our leaders to
solve it.”

“That’s why, today, Latinos are speaking up loud and clear: it’s time to
cut the carbon pollution that is driving climate chaos and threatening our
children’s future.”

Indeed, the new survey showed that support for climate action among Latinos
is broad and deep:

  • Nationally, nine in 10 Latinos want the government to take action against
    the dangers of global warming and climate change.

    • Of those, 68 percent of Republican Latinos say that it is
      important—including 46 percent of Republicans who say it’s very or extremely
      important—for our government to tackle global warming and climate change.

  • Nationally, eight in 10 Latinos want President Obama to curb the carbon
    pollution that causes climate change.

    • Of those, 54 percent of Republicans, 88 percent of Democrats and 86
      percent of Independents support presidential action.

  • Nationally, 86 percent of Latinos support setting limits on carbon
    pollution power plants discharge into the air to fight climate change.

    • Of those, 71 percent of Democrats, 44 percent of Republicans and 63
      percent of Independents strongly support setting limits on carbon pollution
      from power plants.

  • By gender, 88 percent of male respondents say that it is important for our
    government to tackle global warming and climate change and 92 percent of
    female respondents agree with this view.
  • Broken out  by income, 91 percent of those making less than $20,000 a
    year say that it is important for our government to tackle global warming and
    climate change, and 86 percent of those with incomes over $80,000 hold this


The survey conducted for NRDC by Latino Decisions, a leader in Latino
political opinion research, interviewed 800 Latinos in the United States from
November 27 to December 3, 2013. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.5
percent. Previous polling has shown Latinos strongly back taking action against
climate change. The Latino Decisions poll explored how intense that support is
and why. In comparable national surveys of policy attitudes of Latinos conducted
by Latino Decisions, only immigration reform scored higher levels of

“Of the issues we’ve polled, the only other national issue Latinos feel
more intensely about is immigration reform,”
said Matt Barreto, co-founder
of Latino Decisions and associate professor of political science at the
University of Washington. “Action on climate change is a very high priority
for Latinos—regardless of age, income, party affiliation or where they

“This is a clear message for public officials who want support from
Latinos: protecting the environment is a top priority. If you want their
support, taking action on climate change is an important place to start.”

The poll also helps reveal some of why Latinos put acting on climate change
so high a priority.

  • 83 percent find this statement convincing: Climate change is causing our
    communities here in the U.S. to face more dangerous and extreme weather.
  • 83 percent say they find this statement convincing: Climate change is
    causing our communities in Mexico, Central and South America, and the
    Caribbean to face more dangerous and extreme weather, who often have less
    resources to respond.
  • 65 percent say they think about environmental concerns in terms of the
    entire world, rather than in terms of themselves, their family or their
  • 86 percent are convinced that we have a moral duty to give our children a
    clean planet and that our ancestors worked and cared for the Earth, so we must
    continue their heritage and legacy by fighting climate change and protecting
    the environment.


Latinos are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population and their
participation in the American political process is expected to double by 2030.
Today, in the United States there are 53 million Latinos; 17 percent of the
country’s population. In another 50 years, census estimates say that the Latino
population will rise to 129 million and comprise 31 percent of the country. In
the 2012 elections, 12 million Latinos voted — 10 percent of all voters — and
that participation is expected to double in about 15 years.

“Latinos are a growing and potent force in America, and they’ll be
watching closely as the president’s climate action plan advances in
said Quintero. “Latinos have a deep sense of
interconnectedness, not only to family and friends we see every day but to our
cousins, aunts and grandparents, whether they live in the United States or
abroad. That powerful sense of community extends to concerns for others.
Fighting climate change is part of our obligation to build a more hopeful
future, for all.”

Javier Palomarez, president and CEO of the United States Hispanic Chamber of
Commerce, said, “USHCC recognizes that clean energy and green jobs are the
best alternatives for current and future businesses to thrive. That’s why it’s
important for all of us to collaborate to protect our environment from harmful
climate change. Majorities of people, including Latinos, agree that action is
needed.  Let’s act now, for a thriving economic future, and a planet we can
be proud to pass on to our children.”

Actor and activist Edward James Olmos said, “I agree with the 89 percent
of Latinos who feel that we have an obligation to
Mother Earth from
climate change. For Latinos, protecting our families and ensuring a better
future for our communities is critically important. Join me in this effort to
speak out and demand strong action from the government to limit climate

For more on the poll, click here:

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit
environmental organization with more than 1.4 million members and online
activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental
specialists have worked to protect the world’s natural resources, public health,
and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los
Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Livingston, Montana, and Beijing. Visit us at http://www.nrdc.org/ and follow
us on Twitter @NRDC.

Latino Decisions is the leader in Latino political opinion research. Latino
Decisions is a joint effort between Pacific Market Research, a nationally known
research firm, and Dr. Gary Segura and Dr. Matt Barreto, leading Latino politics
scholars and professors at Stanford University and the University of Washington.
Latino Decisions employ its professional insights and specialized technical
skills to produce the most accurate information about Latino political
attitudes, experiences and engagement. See http://www.latinodecisions.com/.

SOURCE  Natural Resources Defense Council, Washington, D.C.

Poll: Overwhelming Majority of Latinos Want Strong Presidential Action to Combat Climate Change