Determinants of Public Support for International Climate Finance in Donor Countries

28 Pages Posted: 9 Jul 2014

See all articles by Robert Gampfer

Robert Gampfer

ETH Zürich

Thomas Bernauer

ETH Zurich

Aya Kachi

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Date Written: June 1, 2014


The adoption of the Warsaw mechanism on loss and damage has again highlighted the North-South divide in the part of the UNFCCC negotiations dealing with international climate finance. Current estimates put required funding from rich countries at 50 to 100 billion Euros per year to induce non-Annex I countries to take on greenhouse gas limitation commitments and to assist highly vulnerable countries. Results from survey-embedded conjoint experiments can help policy-makers anticipate opportunities and pitfalls in designing large-scale climate funding schemes. We implemented such experiments in the United States and Germany to better understand what institutional design characteristics are likely to garner more public support for climate funding among citizens in key developed countries. We find that climate funding receives more public support if it flows to efficient governments, funding decisions are made jointly by donor and recipient countries, funding is used both for mitigation and adaptation, and other donor countries contribute a large share. Contrary to what one might expect, climate change damage levels, income, and emissions in/of potential recipient countries have no significant effect on public support. These findings suggest that finance mechanisms that focus purely on compensating developing countries, without contributing to the global public good of mitigation, will find it hard to garner public support.

Keywords: climate negotiations, climate finance, compensation payments, public support, conjoint experiment

Suggested Citation

Gampfer, Robert and Bernauer, Thomas and Kachi, Aya, Determinants of Public Support for International Climate Finance in Donor Countries (June 1, 2014). Available at SSRN: or

Robert Gampfer (Contact Author)

ETH Zürich ( email )

Rämistrasse 101
Zürich, 8092

Thomas Bernauer

ETH Zurich ( email )

Center for Comparative and International Studies
Building IFW, office 45.1, Haldeneggsteig 4
Zurich 8092, 8092
+41 44 632 6466 (Phone)
+41 44 632 1289 (Fax)


Aya Kachi

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ( email )

Department of Political Science
361 Lincoln Hall, 702 S. Wright St.
Urbana, IL 61801
United States


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