Climate Change

New paper on trust and climate policy attitudes


Dear Climate-L readers,

We are delighted to announce that a new Climate Policy paper is now available free to access. This article explores how individual-level trust in both partial and impartial government institutions constitutes an important determinant of climate policy attitudes. 

Who do you trust? How trust in partial and impartial government institutions influences climate policy attitudes

By Joakim Kulin & Ingemar Johansson Sevä 

Read it here: bit.ly/policytrust

While previous research shows that environmental policy attitudes depend on trust in government, existing studies have either focused exclusively on trust in politicians and democratic institutions (political trust) or conflated such measures with trust in a wider range of impartial government institutions and actors. In this study, we distinguish between trust in partial institutions that enact laws and policies on the one hand, and trust in impartial institutions that exercise government authority and enforce policies on the other, and systematically analyse their respective influence on climate policy preferences. In addition to investigating the direct influences of trust, we also focus on how trust in government institutions moderates the relationship between climate change concern and climate policy attitudes cross-nationally. Using European Social Survey data from 2016, we demonstrate that individual-level trust in both partial and impartial government institutions constitutes an important determinant of climate policy attitudes. Moreover, while we find no evidence of direct effects of trust at the country level, we demonstrate that individuals who are concerned about climate change are more likely to hold positive attitudes towards climate policies in high-trust countries, particularly where trust in impartial institutions such as the legal system and the police is high.

Read it here: bit.ly/policytrust

With best wishes, 

Miguel Saldivia

Climate Policy is a leading international peer-reviewed academic journal, publishing high quality research and analysis on all aspects of climate change policy, including adaptation and mitigation, governance and negotiations, policy design, implementation and impact, and the full range of economic, social and political issues at stake in responding to climate change. It provides a platform for new ideas, innovative approaches and research-based insights that can help advance climate policy in practice.

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