A1 Journal article – refereed

The role of national affluence, carbon emissions, and democracy in Europeans’ climate perceptions

List of Authors: Pasi Pohjolainen, Iida Kukkonen, Pekka Jokinen, Wouter Poortinga, Charles Adedayo Ogunbode, Gisela Böhm, Stephen Fisher, Resul Umit

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

Publication year: 2021

Journal: Innovation / Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research

eISSN: 1469-8412

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13511610.2021.1909465

URL: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13511610.2021.1909465


There are differences across Europe in elements of climate citizenship,
including climate concern, perceived responsibility, and willingness to
support and take climate action. This paper examines how
individual-level climate perceptions correspond to a country's
contribution to climate change and its ability to develop climate
policies. Data from the European Social Survey Round 8 (23 European
countries, n = 44,387) was used to explore how national-level
factors (affluence as per capita GDP, carbon emissions as per capita CO2
emissions, and democracy as electoral democracy index) are related to
individual-level climate perceptions (climate concern, perceived climate
responsibility, climate policy support, and personal climate action).
The analysis shows that the studied individual-level perceptions are all
linked, and that perceived climate responsibility is a factor that
helps in understanding how individual-level climate views are connected.
Further, national-level affluence and democracy are connected to
stronger individual-level perceptions both directly and through
mediating their connections. Our results suggest that achieving
ambitious climate policy targets in Europe could benefit from focusing
on the role of perceived climate responsibility in boosting policy
support and action. Moreover, the connection between national-level
(democratic and economic) factors and public climate perceptions
emphasises the need to place climate policies in a wider context.

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Last updated on 2021-02-12 at 11:17