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Support for climate action, and renewable energy in particular, seem to be on the rise in Illinois and around the country. A recent survey of Illinois residents found that 82% support proposed legislation (HB3642) that will put the state on a path to 100% renewable energy by 2050 and create thousands of related jobs for Illinois residents. The poll, conducted by the Global Strategy Group and released by the Illinois Clean Energy Jobs Coalition, was conducted May 18-21, 2020. The Clean Energy Jobs Coalition suggests that support is likely “because [renewable energy] can unlock tens of millions of dollars in private investment and create thousands of clean energy jobs without raising taxes, hiking electric bills, or spending scarce state revenue.”

This response is in keeping with the sentiment of the country. A recent national survey conducted by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication found that 75% of registered voters believe that global warming is happening, and two in three voters are worried about the impacts. 6o% of likely voters say climate issues are either the top or one of the top issues they consider in selecting a presidential candidate.

Past surveys from Yale consistently show that a majority of people favor the move to renewable energy across the country. Nationally, 87% of voters favor increased funding for renewable energy research, 86% favor generating renewable energy on public land, and 76% favor regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant.

HB3642 is was re-referred to the Rules Committee on June 23, 2020 and currently has 59 sponsors.

To learn more about Illinois’s conversion to renewable energy, view these the Extension Local Government Education webinars.

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