© John F. Marshall for TNC

New Polling Reveals Overwhelming Bi-partisan Support For Natural Climate Solutions

New polling conducted by U.S. Nature4Climate reveals exceptionally strong support among U.S. voters for expanded implementation of Natural Climate Solutions. Indeed, few issues generate this level of bi-partisan support. 

Our poll indicates that voters attach a high-level of importance to implementing specific Natural Climate Solutions strategies. They also overwhelmingly support a number of approaches for providing assistance to farmers and forest landowners who adopt climate-smart management practices on their land, and supporting conservation and restoration activities in forests, grasslands, and coastal wetlands. While Natural Climate Solutions cannot solve climate change alone, and must necessarily be complemented by efforts to reduce fossil fuel emissions, this poll demonstrates that American voters believe nature should play an important role in our efforts to address the climate crisis.

Breaking Down the Numbers: Natural Climate Solutions Supported by 92% of Voters

Poll Question:

“Natural Climate Solutions are actions that reduce emissions and increase carbon storage in forests, farms, grasslands and wetlands. Practices that could be included are actions like…

  • Encouraging farming techniques that retain carbon in the soil, such as planting cover crops;
  • Conserving and replanting forests;
  • Conserving and restoring coastal wetlands; and
  • Reducing the loss of natural areas, planting trees, and providing parks in communities.

Efforts to expand these practices could be supported by laws and public funding approved at the federal, state, and local levels.

Does that sound like something you would support or oppose?”

In our May 2023 national online survey of 1,000 registered voters, conducted by the bipartisan team of FM3 Research and New Bridge Strategies, voters were read a brief description of Natural Climate Solutions (at left), and asked whether they would support or oppose expanding implementation of these practices through laws and public funding at the federal, state, and local level. Overall, an overwhelming 92% majority of voters supported expansion of Natural Climate Solutions, with only 8% opposed. Support was also strong across party: 95% of Democrats, 95% of independents, and 86% of Republicans support expanding Natural Climate Solutions implementation. Moreover, in rural areas, voters supported Natural Climate Solutions expansion by an 89% to 11% margin. Even among the 17% of voters nationwide who do not believe climate change is happening, a large 77% majority support Natural Climate Solutions.

From Urban Tree Planting to Climate-Smart Farming, a Wide Range of Natural Climate Solutions are Important to Voters

Voters were read a list of potential elements of a proposal to invest in natural climate solutions, and were told that “each of these actions either reduce emissions or store carbon;” most of the specific items also cited additional environmental and economic benefits. As the chart below illustrates, large bi-partisan majorities believe that a wide range of practices – including natural land protection, tree planting, urban forestry, wildfire management, coastal restoration, grassland restoration, and various climate-smart agriculture and forestry practices – are very important actions that can be taken to invest in Natural Climate Solutions. The upshot: Policy and corporate decision-makers have a wide menu of options for implementing Natural Climate Solutions.

Policies to Scale Up Natural Climate Solutions are Popular with Voters

The 2023 Farm Bill presents an opportunity for federal policy makers to support many Natural Climate Solutions practices by providing financial and technical assistance to farmers and forest landowners. As indicated in the chart below, our poll reveals broad, bi-partisan support for a number of proposals for scaling up implementation of Natural Climate Solutions that could be addressed in the Farm Bill. This suggests a wide range of flexibility in charting a path forward for expansion of Natural Climate Solutions, and little political risk in supporting these policy options.

Conclusion: The Broad Support For Natural Climate Solutions Presents An Opportunity For Bi-Partisan Climate Action

Our research shows that voters believe that many of America’s diverse array of landscapes – from farms, to forests, to cities, grasslands, and coastlands – should be incorporated into these efforts. Voters also grant policy makers a wide degree of flexibility for charting a path forward on Natural Climate Solutions by virtue of their overwhelming support for a wide range of strategies, suggesting substantial room for bi-partisan collaboration and compromise.