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Climate Change and Communities of Color: Key Poll Findings and Top Lines

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In order to gauge minority voters’ feelings about climate change and the green economy, Green For All commissioned a poll of minority voters in July 2014. Brilliant Corners surveyed 400 African American and 400 Latino Likely Voters from key states (FL, GA, MI, NV, NC, OH, TX, and VA), as well as 100 Asian Likely Voters from Los Angeles & the Bay Area.
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Climate change is a high-profile issue for communities of color. Three­‐quarters of minority voters said that they have become more interested in climate issues and are paying closer attention to new information.

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Sixty-eight percent of minority voters feel that climate change is a problem that threatens their communities and way of life right now. These voters agree that it is not a problem for the future and do not feel that our country is devoting enough attention and resources to the issue.

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Offering practical solutions to environmental issues may be an effective entry point for garnering support from this key ascending political group in battleground states. Seventy percent of minority voters said that they were more likely to support candidates willing to expand resources to tackle the issue and grow new industries over those arguing that addressing climate change will cost jobs and hurt our economy.

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Minority voters are optimistic about the economic benefits of addressing environmental and climate issues. Seventy‐six percent agree that new carbon emission standards will spur research and innovations that will not only keep costs down but, more importantly, create new industries with good-­paying jobs.

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At a more fundamental level, minority voters make sense of these issues through the prism of their values. Thirty‐two percent of voters identified our moral duty to leave our children a habitable planet as the most significant reason for supporting new carbon emissions standards.

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Minority voters are pragmatic about environmental issues and are most concerned about the immediate ways in which their communities are affected. The economic impacts of rising energy costs and gas prices were first and foremost in voters’ minds, followed closely by health impacts of exposure to air pollution, water pollution, and toxic waste.