Public Opinion and Multi-Level Climate Change Governance
31 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2009 Last revised: 20 Oct 2014
Date Written: 2009
A substantial effort has been launched over the past decade to gauge the views of the American public on climate change. Much of this survey research has focused on whether the public believes that human generation of carbon dioxide and related greenhouse gas emissions is in fact triggering changes in the global climate. This in turn has led to surveys that ask citizens to rank climate change as a societal problem in comparison to other issues such as the economy, medical care, and foreign policy. A good deal of this analysis has been conducted by organizations such as the Gallup Poll and the Pew Research Center over a decade or more, allowing for a longitudinal look at how American attitudes on this topic have evolved. Important scholarly work is now in print that examines these key findings and trends across the range of published surveys (Nisbet and Myers 2007; Bannon et al 2007). We know less about public views on various policy options that might mitigate the threat of climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, although a number of surveys have been commissioned in recent years that begin to explore public response to policy alternatives. This analysis has examined both responsiveness to competing policy tools as well as citizen “willingness to pay” for various strategies that might serve to reduce emissions.
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