Does Quality of Government and Trust Explain the Cross-National Variation in Public Support for Climate Policy?
In accordance with the Paris agreement, the signing countries have undertaken to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, implying more government intervention to steer the behaviors of different actors with climate policy measures. However, states face very different possibilities for gaining support for such interventions, especially those targeting the consumption patterns of individual citizens, due to for example the variation in economic development, the quality of political institutions, and other country covariates. While most research on climate policy support has focused on individual factors, such as ideological position, values, and socio-demographic factors, there are also studies out there showing that there is quite some variation in country support for various climate change policies. Using newly published data from the European Social Survey, we explore whether variation in climate policy support is associated with levels of quality of government (QoG) and individuals’ trust in political institutions and people in general, and if these associations vary across different types of climate policies. We find that QoG and generalized trust are positively linked to support for climate taxes, but we find no associations with support for climate subsidies and climate bans. Moreover, we find that political and institutional trust are more strongly linked to support for climate taxes than to support for climate subsidies and climate bans.
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