Poll Reveals Latinos’ Concern for Environment

Today, Earth Day Network’s Campaign for Communities partner the William C. Velasquez Institute (WCVI) released the results of its Latino voter survey on the green economy. The survey, which included 600 Latino respondents from four counties in Southern California, examined Latino attitudes toward environmental and economic sustainability, with an emphasis on renewable energy.

The findings were significant. Respondents demonstrated a strong concern for air and water quality, overwhelming support for renewable energy, and the belief that a green economy can spur economic development in the state.

Nine out of 10 respondents consider “air pollution and the health problems that result from poor air quality” to be a serious problem, while 84% think that “the impacts of climate change, sometimes called global warming” is a serious problem.

On the topic of renewable energy, 92% of respondents agree with the following statement: “increasing the use of clean, renewable energy is important to people like me.” In particular, surveyed Latinos showed enthusiasm for solar power. 87% agreed that “growing the state’s solar energy industry will create new jobs in California.”

Latinos’ concern for the environment also has a significant impact on the way that they vote. 88% of respondents were more likely to vote for a candidate who “voted for stronger clean air standards to reduce air pollution,” while 69% agree that “because utility companies donate so much money to our elected officials’ campaigns, we cannot trust them to enact laws that promote more clean energy.”

The WCVI’s findings have interesting implications for climate and energy policy going forward, especially considering the rate at which Latino populations in the U.S. are growing. The findings bolster Earth Day Network’s long-standing argument that the environmental community should invest more heavily in Latino voters.