Poll: Most Support Global Warming Treaty

Six in 10 Americans say the United States should join the Kyoto treaty on global warming, rejecting President Bush's economic arguments against the accord.

Bush, saying it "makes no economic sense," has declared that the United States will not participate in the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which calls on the United States and other industrialized nations to reduce emissions associated with global warming by 2012.

However, in an ABCNEWS.com poll conducted a week ahead of Earth Day, 61 percent said the United States should join the treaty, while just 26 percent opposed it.

The poll gauged opinion by summarizing the debate, noting that one side says the accord "would hurt the U.S. economy and is based on uncertain science," while the other says it "is needed to protect the environment and could create new business opportunities." Bush wasn't mentioned, in order to make the result a measure of the Kyoto debate, not of his personal popularity.

Should the United States join the Kyoto treaty?

Yes No No opinion 4/15/01 61% 26 13

The result echoes an ABCNEWS/Washington Post poll in January, when Americans by a 17-point margin, 56 percent to 39 percent, said protecting the environment was more important to them than encouraging economic growth. Last month an ABC/Post poll found just 46 percent approval for Bush's handling of environmental issues.

Party Split

Bush doesn't have the support of most members of his party on Kyoto: A slight majority of Republicans supports the international treaty, joined by two-thirds of Democrats and independents.

In other groups, support for joining the treaty is higher among younger, higher-income and better-educated Americans.

Should the United States join the treaty?

Yes No Democrats 68 19 Independents 66 25 Republicans 52 37

Age: 18-34 68 22 65+ 45 36

Income: Less than $25K 54 27 $100K+ 71 20

Education: High school 47 33 Some college+ 67 24

Methodology

This ABCNEWS.com survey was conducted by telephone April 11-15 among a random national sample of 1,022 adults. The results have a three-point error margin. Sampling, data collection and tabulation were conducted by TNS Intersearch of Horsham, Pa.

Previous ABCNEWS polls can be found in our Poll Vault.

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