Poll: Most Americans Blame China for Environmental Issues

A woman uses a scarf to cover her face from pollutants as she walks out of an underpass tunnel on a polluted day in Beijing, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015. Schools closed and rush-hour roads were much quieter than normal as Beijing’s first-ever red alert for smog took effect Tuesday, closing …
AP Photo/Andy Wong

A majority of Americans say China is responsible for the bulk of environmental pollution and damage, a Trafalgar Group survey released Thursday found.

The survey asked, “Which country do you believe is responsible for the most environmental pollution and damage?”

An overwhelming majority of respondents, 69.4 percent, said China bears the bulk of the responsibility, compared to 18.7 percent who said the United States. Another six percent said India, followed by Afghanistan (2.2 percent), Russia (1.7 percent), Brazil (1.2 percent), and Germany (0.9 percent).

While Democrats are more likely than Republicans and independents to place blame on the U.S. (26.2 percent), a majority, 59.3 percent, still place the bulk of the blame on China, as do 79.2 percent of Republicans and 70.6 percent of independents:

The survey, taken September 20-22, 2021, among 1,094 likely general election voters, has a margin of error of +/-2.96 percent.

This week, John Kerry, special presidential envoy for climate, raised eyebrows after essentially justifying prioritizing climate change over human rights abuses in China

(Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Bloomberg’s David Westin posed the following to Kerry:

Another issue related to China is the importing of solar panels because, clearly, a priority of the Biden administration is really addressing climate. But it’s not the only priority. There are other things as well, such as the Uyghur situation in the west. What is the process by which one trades off climate against human rights?”

Kerry essentially answered that “life is always full of tough choices,” concluding that “first and foremost, this planet must be protected.”

Explaining we “can do and must do the same thing now,” Kerry said:

Well, life is always full of tough choices in the relationship between nations. … But the point I’m making is that, even as there were egregious human rights issues, which Ronald Reagan called them out on, we have to find a way forward to make the world safer, to protect our countries, and act in our interests.

“Yes, we have issues, a number of different issues. But first and foremost, this planet must be protected. We all need to do that for our people,” he added.

In September, President Biden reiterated that Kerry, a frequent private jet user, is “leading” the United States’s climate change effort.

U.S. Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry (D-MA) plays cards on board his private jet enroute to Albuquerque, New Mexico from Minneapolis on May 4, 2004. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

John Kerry (D-MA) plays cards on board his private jet enroute to Albuquerque, New Mexico, from Minneapolis (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images).


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