High level of support for 100% clean energy by 2035 at state and federal levels
FAR HILLS, NJ (October 14, 2020) – An overwhelming majority of New Jersey voters expresses concern over climate change and supports more aggressive goals to achieve 100% clean energy, a new ReThink Energy NJ poll finds.
Over 70% of New Jersey voters polled support achieving 100% clean electricity by 2035 instead of the state’s existing goal of 100% by 2050. A broad coalition recently called on New Jersey policymakers to achieve clean energy sooner in light of the increasingly urgent climate crisis.
Asked, “How would you describe your feelings toward the effects of climate change in New Jersey,” 73% of voters say they are “very concerned” or “concerned,” compared to 27% who say they are “not very” or “not at all concerned.”
New Jersey voters also show strong support for an aggressive clean energy target at the federal level: 69% say they support President Biden’s call for 100% clean electricity by 2035, compared to 28% who say they oppose it. The findings come from ReThink Energy NJ’s 7th annual “Attitudes on Clean Energy” public opinion survey conducted by the Fairleigh Dickinson University Poll.
“New Jerseyans are experiencing the disastrous effects of climate change, most recently from Hurricane Ida. They understand the need to more swiftly transition to clean, renewable sources of energy to protect lives and property,” said Tom Gilbert, campaign director, ReThink Energy NJ and New Jersey Conservation Foundation “Policymakers at the state and federal level must set more ambitious climate targets and not be swayed by fossil fuel industry efforts to slow the move to clean energy.”
Click to tweet: An overwhelming majority of New Jersey voters expressed concern over #climatechange and support more aggressive goals to achieve 100% #cleanenergy, according to new @FDUPoll for @ReThinkEnergyNJ. See all results: http://ow.ly/MqLo50GqqLC
“Political candidates have sometimes been hesitant about embracing clean energy policies,” said Dan Cassino, director of the FDU Poll. “But voters are telling us that they want these policies and may even be punishing candidates who don’t push them.”
Voters favor renewable energy over more reliance on fossil fuels. For example, when asked if the state should invest more in renewable energy sources like wind and solar, or more in fossil fuels like oil and natural gas, 73% supported investment in renewable sources. Asked which sources are most important to New Jersey’s energy future, 57% cite solar or wind, compared to 21% who cite natural gas.
The poll found high receptivity on the part of New Jerseyans to electrification of heating for homes and businesses: 66% say they are aware that the transition to clean energy will require a switch to electric heat for homes and buildings and 61% say they support the move from gas to electric appliances to reduce emissions and fight climate change.
Other key findings from the ReThink Energy NJ poll include:
ReThink Energy NJ informs and empowers New Jersey citizens and decision-makers to support sensible policies to bring about a swift transition to clean, efficient, renewable energy.
The telephone survey of 700 randomly-selected registered voters was conducted by Fairleigh Dickinson Poll for ReThink Energy NJ September 9-18, 2021. The margin of error is +/- 4.5 percentage points at a 95 % confidence interval. A complete description of the survey’s methodology, including weighting, question wording, and tables can be found here.
Click to Tweet: An overwhelming majority of New Jersey voters expressed concern over #climatechange and support more aggressive goals to achieve 100% #cleanenergy, according to new @FDUPoll for @ReThinkEnergyNJ. See all results: http://ow.ly/MqLo50GqqLC