Costs and economic concerns have not derailed Californians majority support for the fight against climate change. With the Global Climate Change Summit kicking off in San Francisco today the Public Policy Institute of California released a fact sheet on Californian’s View on Climate Change based on polling results from July. Californians as a whole are on board in the fight against climate change with half the population willing to pay more while expecting more jobs to be created under state climate change policies.

The 100% renewable energy mandate signed by Governor Brown this week garnered 72% support in the July poll. 21% opposed. When asked if they were willing to pay more for electricity created by renewable sources half of the Californians surveyed said yes.

As with all questions in this survey there was a wide disparity between Democrats and Republicans. 64% of Democrats said they were willing to pay more for electricity generated from renewable sources, only 21% of Republicans agreed.

A majority of Californians said they expected gas prices would increase under the climate change policies. Republicans were more certain that gas prices would rise (78%) than Democrats (51%) or Independents (62%.)

In replying to a question about how electricity and gas prices influence how voters respond, PPIC president Mark Baldassare wrote: “I look at the levels of public support in the context of past and current prices and there hasn’t been much change. I don’t know what future price levels would change their opinions and we will keep tracking these issues.”

The cost question is asked in a vacuum. No reference is made to the gas tax increase passed by the legislature that is now the focus of an initiative campaign (Proposition 6) to repeal the tax. One has to wonder if a definitive price increase created by the renewable energy mandate were added on to the recent gas tax increase already in place how eager poll respondents would be to embrace the climate policies.

On the economic side, Californians think not taking on climate change would hurt the economy. Two-thirds of Californians believe that the effects of global warming have already begun. According to PPIC: “Most Californians (80%) view global warming as a very serious (56%) or somewhat serious (24%) threat to the state’s future economy and quality of life.”

In fact, just under half of Californians (48%) believe that state policies to combat global warming would cause there to be more jobs around the state, while 18% would expect fewer jobs; 23% think there would be no effect. 64% of Democrats think more jobs would be created, 49% of Independents concur, while only 29% of Republicans agree.

The poll results indicate a majority of Californians are not near a breaking point on climate change policy for they view the good result of the policy outweighing any burden the policies might bring.

That test may come, perhaps when requirements to eliminate the internal combustion engine take hold, but that is years away and scientific innovation could change the parameters of the debate. For now a majority of Californians approve of the way the legislature and governor are taking the state in the climate fight.