Building support for climate action depends on linking it to health, economic benefits

USGBC report finds most people don’t think environmental problems significant enough to prioritize action.

September 26, 2019 |

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Generating public support for climate action may require more extensive education about the health and economic benefits, according to a report from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The report, “Standard Issue Volume II,” surveyed 1,850 adults across the U.S., and found that while most people believe environmental problems are important, they do not believe the issues are significant enough to make action a priority. The report also discusses steps that could mobilize more public support and provides tools to help motivate people to get involved.

Respondents were asked to rate how important environmental problems were to them, and 82% said that they believe environmental problems are very or somewhat important, an increase of eight percentage points in the six months since USGBC began conducting the research. However, the report found that of those, only 49% believe that environmental problems are very important, while 33% say they are somewhat important.

Just over 60% said they were most passionate about protecting the health of their family and friends. Yet, 39% of respondents said they have never considered or don’t know the impact buildings have on the environment and their health.

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