Consequence evaluations and moral concerns about climate change: insights from nationally representative surveys across four European countries

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschung


This paper examines consequence evaluations and moral concerns about climate change across four European countries. Data from nationally representative samples (each n > 1000) were analysed in order to explore the relative importance of consequences versus morality in explaining public support for different climate policies. Most respondents expected climate change to have largely negative consequences for their respective country. Climate change consequences were viewed most negatively in Germany, followed by France, the U.K. and Norway. While the vast majority of respondents expressed at least some degree of moral concern about climate change, a notable minority in each sample stated that they have no such concerns. Moral concerns were highest in France, followed by the U.K. and Norway, and lowest in Germany. It was found that both judgements explain support for policies that aim to mitigate climate change or aim to adapt to the impacts of climate change. However, our results further suggest that moral concern was a stronger predictor of policy support than consequence evaluations. If at all, consequence evaluations were more likely to predict policy support in Germany and Norway than in the U.K. and France. Overall, policies that involved subsidies received the strongest support, whereas policies involving individual costs received the least support. This research broadens our understanding of the intertwining between risk perceptions and public support for climate policies, documenting variability across and within countries. Implications for policy-makers with an interest in communicating climate change risks to the broader public audience are discussed.

ZeitschriftJournal of Risk Research
Seiten (von - bis)610-626
Anzahl der Seiten17
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 04.05.2019
VeranstaltungCambridge Risk and Uncertainty Conference - RUC 2017: Evidence-based uncertainty analysis - Churchill College, Cambridge, Großbritannien / Vereinigtes Königreich
Dauer: 12.06.201714.06.2017