Open Access Repository Bern University of Teacher Education

Which factors shape public climate policy support? A social-motivational perspective

Kukowski, Charlotte A.; Bernecker, Katharina (2023). Which factors shape public climate policy support? A social-motivational perspective. In: Reese, Gerhard; Römpke, Anne-Kristin; Bernd, Asja; Dolderer, Christoph; Mues, Andreas W. (eds.) The Puzzle of Transformation. Impulses from Environmental Psychological Research. BfN-Schriften: Vol. 658 (pp. 51-60). Bonn: Bundesamt für Naturschutz

[img] Text
Schrift658.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution-No Derivative Works (CC-BY-ND).

Download (1MB)

Behavioral public policy refers to interventions aimed at steering people's behavior toward broader goals like climate protection. By influencing environmentally helpful and harmful behavior, such policy can play an essential role in creating necessary individual behavior change. For instance, a policy can subsidize public transportation passes or prohibit private motor vehicles in city centers. However, political feasibility depends upon public attitudes and reactions, and decision-makers may be reluctant to implement policies that lack public support. Which factors, then, shape public policy support? This is a central question researched by environmental psychologists. In this piece, we describe and propose an extension to extant perspectives, taking a social-motivational approach to understanding public support for behavioral climate policy. We begin by outlining how characteristics of people and their social surroundings shape policy support. We then describe our own empirical work showing how people’s own motivations, as well as their perception of others’ environmental behavior, influence whether they support policy to address climate change. In short, our work shows that conceptualizing climate change mitigation as an important personal goal and perceiving others’ environmental behavior as insufficient is associated with stronger policy support, beyond environmental attitudes and risk perception. Lastly, we draw on these findings to make suggestions for climate policy framing and communication.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)

PHBern Contributor:

Bernecker, K.




Bundesamt für Naturschutz




Jessica Brunner

Date Deposited:

12 Feb 2024 10:09

Last Modified:

14 Feb 2024 10:24




Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item