Public expectations about the impact of COVID-19 on climate action by citizens and government

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Since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis many have opinionated on how it may affect society’s response to climate change. Two key questions here are how COVID-19 is expected to influence climate action by citizens and by the government. We answer these by applying topic modelling to textual responses from a survey of Spanish citizens. The identified topics tend to be more negative than positive, and more optimistic concerning future climate action by citizens. Positive views involve increasing pro-environmental behavior and are more common among younger, higher educated and male respondents as well as among those who perceive climate change as a serious threat or positively assessed COVID-19 confinement. Negative topics express concern that financial resources for climate action will be limited due to a focus on healthcare and economic recovery. In addition, they mention government mismanagement and waste due to use of protective measures like masks and gloves as impediments to effective climate action.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e0266979
JournalPloS one
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jun 2022

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