Public support for climate policy

Stefan Drews*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in BookChapterResearchpeer-review


Public support for climate policy is required for policy adoption, stringency and stability. This chapter explains why citizens hold different climate policy attitudes. Six types of factors are discussed. (1) Personal factors, such as socio-demographics, climate change perceptions, values and ideologies. (2) Social perceptions and identities, that is, people value climate policy differently depending on what other people think. (3) Perceptions of policy costs and benefits. (4) Policy design, such as interactions between different policies. (5) Policy communication, that is, what and how to communicate about policies. (6) Context, such as political trust, media coverage and geography. Policy-makers and civil society at all governmental levels can draw on these insights to build broader and deeper public support to realize a low-carbon transition. While efforts to generate public support, and avoid public opposition, most often need to be tailored to the specific circumstances of each policy and jurisdiction, it is reassuring to know that many systemic leverage points exist to achieve this goal.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch Handbook on Environmental Sociology
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781800370456
ISBN (Print)9781800370449
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


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