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Poll finds New Yorkers are concerned about the environment

Apr 20, 2021 2:00 pm

Rick Karlin is reporting for the Times Union the majority of New Yorkers are concerned about air and water pollution as well as climate change, according to a poll by the Siena College Research Institute, released Tue., Apr. 20. The survey was released in advance of the 51st annual Earth Day event on Thursday. A considerable number of respondents – 60 percent – believe policies to clean up the environment will help rather than hurt the environment, according to the poll. “I was surprised that the stated concern was quite as high as it was. It was surprisingly high,” said Don Levy, director of the research institute. “New Yorkers overall express more concern for the environment and more support for environmental policies than I anticipated,” he said. The statewide poll showed that 56 percent of New Yorkers were “very concerned” about climate change. Additionally, 64 percent said they are very concerned about water pollution, 61 percent with air pollution, 60 percent with deforestation. Concerning their personal responses to environmental challenges, 70 percent say they very often personally practice recycling and 69 percent use their own bags for shopping. The majority of those polled also support redesigning cities to be more pedestrian-friendly, promoting the widespread use of electric cars, and having the state produce 100 percent of its electricity with zero emissions by 2040. They also support the U.S. rejoining the Paris Climate Accords. Sixty percent think that government policies aimed at protecting the environment are more likely to help the economy compared with 26 percent that think those policies will hurt the economy. A majority of Republicans said they believe pro-environmental policies will hurt the economy and while nearly two-thirds support efforts to ensure clean water and air, they say we are doing as much as we should. Read the full story in the Times Union.

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