Understanding Public Support for Climate Policies: Findings from Four Top Emitters


To limit future climate change, substantial emissions reduction is urgently needed. Emissions reduction is achievable when governments introduce ambitious and effective policies. Unfortunately, at the present, most countries are lackluster in terms of their climate efforts. A recent report by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change shows that the current efforts made by most governments are not even close to the level of ambition that is required to limit climate change to a warming of 2℃, let alone 1.5℃. As public support is known to be a major driver for policy changes, understanding how to promote citizens’ acceptance of climate policies is now a question of urgent interest to social scientists, communicators, and policymakers. In this talk, I will share some findings on this issue based on a recent survey study conducted in China, India, Japan, and the United States. In particular, I will propose to expand our understanding of public engagement in climate change by taking people’s relations with their country and foreign countries into account.

About the Speaker

Kim-Pong Tam is an environmental psychologist interested in humans’ connection to nature and their responses to global environmental change (e.g., climate change). He is currently investigating (i) how people construe their relationship with nature and the emotional and behavioral implications of such construal; (ii) the cross-national variations in phenomena regarding environmental attitude and pro-environmental behavior; (iii) the socio-political dynamics behind individuals’ appraisal of and responses to environmental problems; and (iv) the various factors behind individuals’ support for climate change mitigation and adaptation policies.

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