Environmental Politics

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Sources of Legitimacy

Funded by the European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grants: #295456 ("SourceLeg")

This ERC Advanced Grant, PI-ed by Thomas Bernauer, has been funding a series of research projects that investigate the sources of popular legitimacy in global environmental governance since September 2012. Many of the biggest contemporary challenges to human wellbeing, including climate change, extend far beyond the political boundaries of any single country. Governments are trying to keep pace with such challenges by expanding the geographic scope of governance systems from the local or national to regional and global levels. This expansion appears indispensable, but has also generated intense public debates about democratic deficits in global governance and fairness in benefit- and burden-sharing. Most global governance efforts rest on fragile foundations when their legitimacy within national political systems remains contested. Our projects focus on procedural and outcome related sources of legitimacy; that is, how decisions in global governance systems are made (procedure), and how the benefits and costs of governance are allocated (outcome) in the context of climate change policies. On the procedural side, the project explores the implications for legitimacy of variation in international decision-making rules, civil society participation, and involvement of international organizations. On the outcome side, it examines the implications of variation in outcome favorability (absolute gains/losses), burden/benefit sharing (outcome fairness, relative gains/losses), and reciprocity. It relies on survey embedded experiments in the laboratory and via a crowd-sourcing platform, as well as geographically representative survey experiments in five countries: Brazil, China, Germany, India, and the USA.

Grant Summary in PDF (71 KB)

    ▪    Thomas Bernauer (PI)
    ▪    Brilé Anderson
    ▪    Zorzeta Bakaki
    ▪    Robert Huber
    ▪    Liam McGrath

Research assistants
    ▪    Mike Hudecheck

Research published and under review [last updated: November 2016]

Implications of Fairness Principles for Willingness to Pay for Climate Change Mitigation

Authors: Anderson, B., Bernauer, T. and Baletti, S.

Despite the shift from multilateral negotiations of legally binding mitigation commitments to the decentralized nonbinding INDC approach in global climate policy, countries continue to insist that fairness principles guide the overall effort, namely, capacity and historical responsibility. Current INDCs will fail to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius meaning many countries will have to engage in more ambitious GHG reduction efforts. Doing so requires strong public support. To explore the public’s preferences for fairness in burden sharing, we implemented an experiment in which participants (N=414) played an online Ultimatum game. In this experiment, participants shared the costs of climate change mitigation. We examined how participants’ willingness to pay for mitigation was influenced by capacity and historical responsibility. Participants applied fairness principles differently depending on their position in the negotiation. As Proposers (i.e. determining the distribution of costs of mitigation between the two players), participants’ willingness to pay was significantly affected by the Responder’s capacity and historical responsibility, while as Responders (deciding whether to accept or reject the Proposer’s offer), participants’ willingness to pay was significantly affected by their own historical responsibility and capacity not the Proposer’s. It seems that the negotiation setup brings out participants’ desire to find a “fair” burden sharing arrangement with respect to players’ capacity and historical responsibility. Given that the unilateralism literature finds broad public support for climate policies even in light of high costs and free-riding, it seems that the public is less concerned about fairness in burden sharing if it is a solitary effort, then as coordinated unilateralism under the Paris Agreement.


Why is there no authority-legitimacy gap in global governance?

Authors: Anderson, B.; Bernauer, T. and Kachi, A.

Does shifting authority from the domestic to the global level result in an authority-legitimacy gap? It is a common belief that the growing authority of global governance institutions comes at the expense of legitimacy either because citizens oppose this authority transfer or are incapable of understanding its implications. We shed light on these questions using population-based survey experiments in Germany and the United States (N=1600 each). The empirical context is climate change, which is a paradigmatic and costly global governance effort. The results challenge the notion of an authority-legitimacy gap. Citizens appear capable of evaluating the implications of changes in the authority of global governance institutions. However, nuanced expansions in authority, such as changes in international decision rules and domestic implementation procedures, insignificantly affect citizens’ legitimacy beliefs. Rather, legitimacy beliefs appear to be shaped by individuals’ general perceptions of the procedures and performances of global governance efforts. The evidence suggests that there is room to enhance the authority of global governance institutions without risking a legitimacy backlash.


Citizens Show Strong Support for Climate Policy, But Are They Also Willing to Pay? (Under review)

Authors: Bakaki, Z. and Bernauer, T.

It remains unclear whether citizens are willing not only to support ambitious climate policy, but also willing to pay for such policy. Our analysis addresses three issues in this regard: whether, as is widely assumed but not empirically established, willingness to support (WTS) is higher than willingness to pay (WTP); whether the determinants of the two are similar; and what accounts for within-subject similarity between WTS and WTP. We address these issues based on data from an original nationally representative survey (N=2,500) on forest conservation in Brazil, arguably the key climate policy issue in the country. The findings reveal that WTP is much lower than WTS. The determinants differ to some extent as well, notably with regards to the effects of age, gender, and trust in government. The analysis also provides insights into factors influencing whether WTS and WTP line up within individuals, i.e., age, education, political ideology, salience of the deforestation issue, and trust in government. Our findings provide a nuanced picture of how strong public support for climate change policy is, and a starting point for climate policy communication.


Unilateral vs Reciprocal Climate Change Policy: Experimental Evidence from China.

Authors: Bernauer, T., Dong, L., McGrath, L. and Zhang, H. Article published in Politics and Governance

The traditional political economy account of global climate change governance directs our attention to fundamental collective action problems associated with global public goods provision, resulting from positive or negative externalities as well as freeriding. The governance architecture of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol uses the traditional approaches of international diplomacy for addressing such challenges: legally binding commitments based on principles of reciprocity and (fair) cost/burden sharing via formalized carbon-budgeting. Yet, the 2015 Paris Agreement has essentially abandoned this approach, as it now operates on the basis of internationally coordinated and monitored unilateralism. On the presumption that public opinion matters for government policy, we examine how citizens view this shift in climate policy from reciprocity to unilateralism, after many years of exposure to strong reciprocity rhetoric by governments and stakeholders. To that end, we fielded a survey experiment in China, the world’s largest greenhouse gas (GHG) emitter. The results show that there is, perhaps surprisingly, strong and robust public support for unilateral, non-reciprocal climate policy. To the extent China is interested in pushing ahead with ambitious and thus costly GHG reduction policies, our results suggest that China can leverage segments of public support in order to overcome domestic obstacles to GHG mitigation policies.


Measuring and Explaining the Willingness to Pay for Forest Conservation: Evidence from a Survey Experiment in Brazil.

Authors: Bakaki, Z. and Bernauer, T. Article published in Environmental Research Letters

Recent research suggests that there is substantial public support (including willingness to pay) for forest conservation. Based on a nationwide survey experiment in Brazil (N=2,500) the largest and richest of the world’s tropical developing countries, we shed new light on this issue. To what extent does the public in fact support forest conservation and what factors are influencing support levels? Unlike previous studies, our results show that the willingness to pay for tropical forest conservation in Brazil is rather low. Moreover, framing forest conservation in terms of biodiversity protection, which tends to create more local benefits, does not induce more support than framing conservation in terms of mitigating global climate change. The results also show that low levels of trust in public institutions have a strong negative impact on the public’s willingness to pay for forest conservation, individually and/or via government spending. What could other (richer) countries do, in this context, to encourage forest conservation in Brazil and other tropical developing countries? One key issue is whether prospects of foreign funding for forest conservation are likely to crowd out or, conversely, enhance the motivation for domestic level conservation efforts. We find that prospects of foreign funding have no significant effect on willingness to pay for forest conservation. These findings have at least three policy implications, namely, that the Brazilian public’s willingness to pay for forest conservation is very limited, that large-scale international funding is probably needed, and that such funding is unlikely to encourage more domestic effort, but is also unlikely to crowd out domestic efforts. Restoring public trust in the Brazilian government is key to increasing public support for forest conservation in Brazil.


Do Global Climate Summits Make a Difference for Climate Change Awareness and Policy Preferences?

Authors: Bakaki, Z. and Bernauer, T. Article published in Environmental Politics.

A survey-embedded experiment implemented around the time of the 2014 annual Conference of the Parties (COP) (N≈1200) examined whether such summits are able to increase citizens’ awareness of climate problems. This study finds that exposure to positive or negative cues about the COP increases climate change awareness, particularly among participants who start out with a low level of awareness. Neither positive nor negative cues about the COP significantly affect people's policy preferences. Our finding resonates with what Bernard Cohen observed for the mass media, when he noted that "the press may not be successful much of the time in telling people what to think, but it is stunningly successful in telling its readers what to think about" (Cohen, 1963: 13).


Minilateralism or the UNFCCC? The Political Feasibility of Climate Clubs

Author: Robert Gampfer, article published in Global Environmental Politics

Climate clubs, or “minilateralism,” are increasingly advocated as a way to move global climate governance forward. Minilateralism supposedly carries structural advantages that facilitate effective climate governance. Some have cautioned, however, that climate clubs lack political legitimacy, commanding little domestic public support. Consequently, small coalitions might not always be politically feasible, even if they could deliver substantial mitigation. Design features like the emission share regulated, commitment structure, club goods, and sanctions against nonmembers could help mitigate this deficit. Gampfer reports results from conjoint experiments testing these propositions that were conducted with nationally representative samples in the United States and India. The findings indicate that minilateral approaches per se tend to receive low public support, but that support can be increased by certain configurations of design elements, especially through a combination of club goods for members and sanctions against nonmember countries. Climate clubs therefore need careful institutional design to be politically feasible.


Could More Civil Society Involvement Increase Public Support for Climate Policy-Making? Experimental Evidence from China

Authors: Bernauer, T., Gampfer, R., Meng, T., and Su, Y-S. Article published in Global Environmental Change

Governments need the support of their citizens in order to be able to adopt and implement ambitious environmental protection policies. Recent research on liberal democratic systems has found evidence that increased civil society organization involvement can help increase the popular legitimacy of (that is, public support for) such policy-making. We are interested in whether this finding is also relevant to other types of political systems. To find out we implemented a survey experiment in China (N=932). The empirical focus is on climate policy, a paradigmatic global governance effort, in which China, the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, plays a key role. The results show that people welcome the involvement of civil society actors – with the exception of business civil society organizations – in climate policy-making, though most participants in our survey experiment did not favor civil society organizations over government agencies. They also show, however, that moving from non-inclusion to inclusion of civil society organizations improves people’s assessment of transparency and representational quality of climate governance (two key facets of input or procedural legitimacy) by 14 and 24 percent respectively. Our findings suggest that – even though few civil society organizations are currently independent from government in China – increased civil society organizations involvement in climate policy-making could contribute to enhancing public support for climate policy. In view of great challenges China faces in implementing its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) within the Paris Agreement framework, its climate policy could thus benefit from greater involvement of civil society organizations.


Carbon Offsetting: Elitist Arguments Meet Public Opinion

Authors: Anderson & Bernauer, article published in Energy Policy

A fundamental policy design choice in government-led climate change mitigation is: what role should flexibility mechanisms like carbon offsetting play in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Since public opinion affects the policy choices of government, we investigate how arguments regarding carbon offsetting's economic efficiency, effectiveness, and ethicality, which have been key points in the public debate, impact the public's preferences. We fielded an online framing experiment in the United States (N=995) to empirically identify how arguments for and against carbon offsetting influence public preferences for the inclusion of offsetting in national GHG mitigation policy. We find that the public's support for international offsetting increases and support for reductions at their source (i.e. within firms' own operations) diminishes when considerations of economic efficiency gains are at the forefront. Support for offsetting declines when individuals are confronted with arguments concerning its effectiveness and ethicality, which suggests that future policies will require clear standards of additionality in order to address these concerns. Moreover, we find that how carbon offsetting is framed matters even amongst climate skeptics and support could potentially be enhanced via improved communication on efficiency gains.


Simple reframing unlikely to boost public support for climate policy

Authors: Bernauer, McGrath, letter published in Nature Climate Change

Ambitious policies for limiting climate change require strong public support. However, the public’s appetite for such policies, as observed in most countries, is rather limited. One possibility for enhancing public support could be to shift the main justification in the public policy discourse on greenhouse gas mitigation from benefits of reducing climate change risks(the conventional justification) to other types of benefit. Technological innovation, green jobs, community building and health benefits are widely discussed candidates. The intuition is that reframing greenhouse gas mitigation efforts and their benefits in such terms could make them more personally relevant as well as more emotionally engaging and appealing to citizens. On the basis of results from two survey-embedded experiments (combined N = 1,675), and in contrast to some earlier studies, we conclude that simple reframing of climate policy is unlikely to increase public support, and outline reasons for this finding. As the added value of other justifications remains unclear at best and potentially nil, sticking to climate risk reduction as the dominant justification seems worthwhile.


Salivary testosterone and cortisol are jointly related to pro-environmental behavior in men

Authors: Sollberger, Bernauer, Ehlert, article published in Social Neuroscience

Recently, cortisol has been suggested to moderate the positive relationship between testosterone and antisocial behavior. More precisely, high testosterone levels have been found to be related to aggressive or dominant behavior especially when cortisol levels were low. In the present study, we aimed to extend these findings to pro-environmental behavior as an indicator of prosocial behavior. In a first step, 147 male participants provided information on their everyday pro-environmental behavior by completing an online questionnaire on various energy-saving behaviors. In a second step, subjects provided two saliva samples for the assessment of testosterone and cortisol on two subsequent mornings after awakening. We found that testosterone was negatively related to pro-environmental behavior, but only in men with low cortisol. In conclusion, our findings provide first evidence for the joint association of testosterone and cortisol with everyday pro-environmental behavior. These results further reinforce the importance of considering interdependent hormone systems simultaneously rather than focusing on a single hormone.


Stress influences environmental donation behavior in men

Authors: Sollberger, Bernauer, Ehlert, article published in Psychoneuroendocrinology

Stress has been found to have both positive and negative effects on prosocial behavior, suggesting the involvement of moderating factors such as context and underlying motives. In the present study, we investigated the conditions under which acute stress leads to an increase vs. decrease in environmental donation behavior as an indicator of prosocial behavior. In particular, we examined whether the effects of stress depended on preexisting pro-environmental orientation and stage of the donation decision (whether or not to donate vs. the amount to be donated). Male participants with either high (N = 40) or low (N  = 39) pro-environmental orientation were randomly assigned to a social stress test or a control condition. Salivary cortisol was assessed repeatedly before and after stress induction. At the end of the experiment, all subjects were presented with an opportunity to donate a portion of their monetary compensation to a climate protection foundation.

We found that stress significantly increased donation frequency, but only in subjects with low pro-environmental orientation. Congruously, their decision to donate was positively associated with cortisol response to the stress test and the emotion regulation strategy mood repair, as well as accompanied by an increase in subjective calmness. In contrast, among the participants who decided to donate, stress significantly reduced the donated amount of money, regardless of pro-environmental orientation. In conclusion, our findings suggest that acute stress might generally activate more self-serving motivations, such as making oneself feel better and securing one’s own material interests. Importantly, however, a strong pro-environmental orientation partially prevented these effects.


How robust is public support for unilateral climate policy?

Authors: Bernauer, Gampfer, article published in Environmental Science & Policy

Most governments emphasize the need for reciprocal (“give and take”) international commitments in global climate policy. Nonetheless, existing public opinion polls indicate strong support by individual citizens for unilateral climate policies as well. This raises the question of whether governments could, without risking electoral punishment, afford to pursue more ambitious unilateral climate policies, or whether surveys may have overestimated support for unilateralism due to measurement problems. Based on conjoint and framing experiments embedded in representative surveys in the world's two largest democracies, India and the United States, we engage in a critical re-assessment of earlier survey results. We find robust public support for unilateral climate policy in both countries. Such support declines with increasing costs and increases with growing co-benefits and problem solving effectiveness. We also find, however, that policy conditionality and possible institutional design mechanisms against free-riding by other states (which make the policy “less unilateral” by providing for reciprocation) play no significant role when citizens form their preferences with respect to climate policy. Neither is public support affected by whether policies focus on adaptation (which limits benefits to the investing country) or mitigation (which benefits all countries globally). Overall, these findings suggest that, in view of very slow progress in global climate policy, governments of rich and poor countries could politically afford to push ahead with more ambitious unilateral climate policies.


Climate Policy in Hard Times: are the Pessimists Right?

Authors: Kachi, Bernauer, & Gampfer, article published in Ecological Economics

Conventional wisdom holds that the state of the economy has a strong impact on citizens' appetite for environmental policies, including climate policy. Assuming median voter preferences prevail, periods of economic prosperity are likely to be conducive, and economic downturns are likely to be detrimental to ambitious climate policy. Using original surveys in the United States and Germany, we engage in a critical re-assessment of this claim. The results show that, for the most part, individuals' perceptions of their own economic situations have no significant effect on their policy support. Negative perceptions of the national economic outlook reduce support for climate policy in the US, but not in Germany. However, the magnitude of this national economy effect in the US is small. On the other hand, individuals' climate risk perceptions consistently have a statistically significant and large effect across various model specifications, and interestingly, this pattern holds for the US, whose government is among the less ambitious in global climate policy, as well as Germany, which is among the frontrunners. Our study indicates that the state of the economy may not trump climate risk considerations as conventional wisdom claims.


Effects of civil society involvement on popular legitimacy of global environmental governance

(Article published in Global Environmental Change)

Does civil society involvement enhance public support for global climate governance? If so, how? Many academics and policy-makers claim that public involvement in global climate governance increases transparency, strengthens representation of otherwise marginalized stakeholders, and provides knowledge to enhance problem-solving capacity. Skeptics challenge this claim, noting that civil society organizations are not accountable to voters and often represent narrowly defined interests. We evaluate the two competing claims by examining how civil society involvement affects public support for global environmental governance with a series of survey experiments. Overall, our results speak in favor of civil society involvement. While individuals view civil society participation favorably in general, civil society inclusion, conceptualized as a static condition, does not appear to increase popular legitimacy of global climate governance. We also find, however, that changing existing practices of civil society inclusion induces substantial changes people’s evaluations of climate policy. The latter finding has important implications for current debates on how to address the persistent stalemate in global climate negotiations.

Paper Abstract: PDF (PDF, 14 KB)

Supplementary Information available here: Supplementary Information (PDF, 29 KB)

Summary of findings in EU Commission Newsletter: PDF (PDF, 230 KB)


Involuntary burden sharing in global climate governance

(Article published in European Union Politics)

How do climate policies unilaterally introduced by "frontrunner" countries influence public support in countries that did not vote on the policies but are affected by the new scheme?
Global climate change governance is characterized by strong interest heterogeneity across countries over how to allocate the global mitigation burden. As in other cases of global collective goods provision, unilateral measures by frontrunners are an important strategy for avoiding stalemate and failure of problem solving under such conditions. Such unilateralism usually results in some involuntary burden sharing by third countries. We examine the effect of a major unilateral EU climate policy initiative, which regulates emissions from aircraft, on public opinion in the two largest democracies outside the EU, India and the USA. Based on survey experiments, we study the effects of cost and sovereignty considerations on people’s evaluation of the EU’s new policy. The results show that, despite much government rhetoric about costs and sovereignty violation, both types of concern have a modest impact. They suggest that there remains some room for the EU in pursuing even such unilateral climate policies that involuntarily enlist other countries in sharing the global mitigation burden.

Paper Abstract: PDF (PDF, 13 KB)

Data and Supplementary Information available here: Data


Burden sharing in global climate governance

(Book chapter published in Cherry, Hovi and McEvoy: Toward a New Climate Agreement. Conflict, Resolution and Governance. Routledge, forthcoming. Link to publisher's book webpage)

Academic and policy debates on how to allocate rights and obligations in global climate governance have resulted in various normative criteria, for instance historical responsibility for global warming, contemporary greenhouse gas emissions, economic capacity, growth prospects, and vulnerability to climatic changes. The implications of these principles for burden-sharing arrangements vary to some extent, though, by-and-large, all of them assign a larger mitigation burden to industrialized than to developing countries. In this book chapter we discuss macro and micro level facets of the burden-sharing problem in global climate governance. The concluding section connects insights from macro and micro level research on burden-sharing and argues for a more integrated approach to studying both.

Chapter Abstract (PDF, 22 KB)


Do individuals care about fairness in burden sharing for climate change mitigation? Evidence from a lab experiment

(Article published in Climatic Change)

Fairness principles play a large role in negotiations on mitigation burden sharing. Do these fairness principles affect individual preferences for burden sharing? I examine whether normative criteria influence individual burden sharing preferences. This bottom-up perspective is important for two reasons. First, it is unknown if governments’ fairness rhetoric matches citizens’ actual preferences. Second, international climate agreements directly affect individuals through domestic policy measures (e.g. energy taxes), and therefore require domestic public support for successful implementation. I conducted two laboratory experiments where participants have to agree on how to share climate change mitigation costs in an ultimatum game. Treatment conditions include differences between proposer and responder in capacity, vulnerability (experiment 1), and historical emissions (experiment 2). Historical emissions are endogenously determined in a prior game. Capacity inequality strongly affects burden sharing, with richer players ending up paying more, and poor players less. Vulnerability differences reduce the influence of fairness, leading to suggested cost distributions more unfavorable to vulnerable players. However, vulnerable responders still reject many “unfair” offers. Differences in historical responsibility result in cost distributions strongly correlated with players’ relative contributions to climate change. The results suggest that more nuanced consideration of fairness criteria in burden sharing could make ambitious climate agreements more acceptable for reluctant countries and their citizens.

Paper Abstract: PDF (PDF, 36 KB)

Supplementary Information available here: Supplementary Information (PDF, 345 KB)


Obtaining public support for North-South climate funding: Evidence from conjoint experiments in donor countries

Authors: Gampfer, Bernauer, & Kachi, article in Global Environmental Change

The adoption of the Warsaw mechanism on loss and damage has again highlighted the North-South divide in those parts of UNFCCC negotiations dealing with international climate finance. Current estimates put required funding from rich countries at 50 to 100 billion Euros per year to induce non-Annex I countries to take on greenhouse gas limitation commitments and to assist highly vulnerable countries. Results from survey-embedded conjoint experiments can help policy-makers anticipate opportunities and pitfalls in designing large-scale climate funding schemes. We implemented such experiments in the United States and Germany to better understand what institutional design characteristics are likely to garner more public support for climate funding among citizens in key developed countries. We find that climate funding receives more public support if it flows to efficient governments, funding decisions are made jointly by donor and recipient countries, funding is used both for mitigation and adaptation, and other donor countries contribute a large share. Contrary to what one might expect, climate change damage levels, income, and emissions in/of potential recipient countries have no significant effect on public support. These findings suggest that finance mechanisms that focus purely on compensating developing countries, without contributing to the global public good of mitigation, will find it hard to garner public support.

UNFCCC vs. Minilateralism: Effects of design features on domestic political feasibility of climate clubs. Evidence from the US and India

Authors: Gampfer and Bernauer,  Under review at: Ecological Economics

Formation of climate clubs, small groups of countries moving ahead in climate policy outside the UNFCCC, is being increasingly advocated. Conceptual and theoretical work details the advantages of “minilateralism” regarding commitment structure, compliance incentives, and depth of agreement, making for greater effectiveness in addressing climate change. Some caution, however, that climate clubs would lack in political legitimacy, commanding little support from policy-making elites and the general public. Not every small coalition that would be able to deliver substantial mitigation might thus be politically feasible. To evaluate the effects of agreement design features on support for minilateral climate governance, I report results from a conjoint experiment conducted with nationally representative samples in the United States and India. Results indicate that minilateral approaches receive lower support compared to the comprehensive UNFCCC architecture, especially if the club does not regulate a large share of global emissions. Support can however be increased by certain configurations of other design elements, namely reduction commitment structure, membership benefits (club goods), and sanctions towards laggard outsider countries. This combined effect of design elements is stronger in the US sample than in the Indian one. Climate clubs therefore need careful institutional design to be politically feasible.


Does Emphasizing Community-Building, Economic Co-Benefits, and Public Health Enhance Public Support for Climate Change Mitigation?

Authors: Thomas Bernauer and Aya Kachi 

Recent research argues that polycentric forms of governance in climate change mitigation might be more conducive to stabilizing the climate system than a centralized global top-down approach. Since a polycentric approach will require a lot of bottom-up mitigation activity it will also require strong citizen support for mitigation measures. This poses great challenges because recent public opinion polls on climate change indicate that public support for ambitious mitigation measures may be rather weak.  Various studies have looked into whether framing the issue in economic co-benefits, community-building, or public health terms, as opposed to the standard framing in climate risk reduction terms, could increase public support for mitigation measures. We use survey experiments with participants from the United States (N=1664) to re-examine and expand on existing research. It turns out that we are not able to confirm earlier findings that economic co-benefit, community-building, and public health frames can enhance citizen support for climate change mitigation, relative to the conventional climate risk reduction framing. We thus conclude that re-framing the mitigation challenge does not, at least in the short run and based on simple messages, provide an easy way out.

Media appearances

"We tested how best to 'sell' climate policy. Here’s what we found." - Washington Post's "Monkey Cage" Blog

"Is it worth trying to "reframe" climate change? probably not." - Vox.com

Everyone sees the world through their own prism - Phys.org

Jeder sieht die welt durch seine eigene brille - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Jeder sieht die welt durch seine eigene brille - JuraForum

Everyone sees the world through their own prism: no magic formula for communications in favour of climate protection - Science Daily

U.s. survey shows climate policy is a tough sell - Futurity

The hard sell of climate science - The Australian

Everyone sees the world through their own prism - EurekAlert!

US Survey Shows Climate Policy Is a Tough Sell - The Epoch Times

Everyone sees the world through their own prism - Environmental Research Web

Everyone sees the world through their own prism - Constantine Alexander's blog

Jeder sieht die welt durch seine eigene brille - ETH Zurich News

"Citizens Support Unilateral Climate Action" at the American Institute of Physics' "Inside Science": Article  

"What type of climate-change funding for developing countries do Americans and Germans support?" at The Washington Post's "Monkey Cage" blog: Blog Post

"Nord-Bürger für Süd-Länder beim Klimaschutz" at "Ökonomenstimme" blog (in German): Blog Post

"Fairness in burden sharing" at Simple Climate Blog: Blog Post

"Unilateral climate policies" at Neue Zürcher Zeitung: Article (PDF, 568 KB)

"Involuntary burden sharing" at PoliSciZurich Blog: Blog Post

"Involuntary burden sharing" at "Ökonomenstimme" blog (in German): Blog Post

"Civil society involvement" at PoliSciZurich Blog: Blog Post

"Civil society involvement" at Climate Strategies Blog: Blog Post

"Civil society involvement" at EU Commission Newsletter: PDF (PDF, 230 KB)

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