Obtaining Public Support for North-South Climate Funding: Evidence from Conjoint Experiments in Donor Countries

Global Environmental Change 29: 118–126.

Posted: 5 Dec 2017 Last revised: 12 Dec 2017

Date Written: November 1, 2014


The adoption of the Warsaw mechanism on loss and damage has again highlighted the North-South divide in those parts of UNFCCC negotiations dealing with international climate finance. Current estimates put required funding from rich countries at 50–100 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, Obtaining Public Support for North-South Climate Funding: Evidence from Conjoint Experiments in Donor Countries (November 1, 2014). Global Environmental Change 29: 118–126.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3080287

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)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ib.ethz.ch

Aya Kachi

University of Basel ( email )

Peter Merian-Weg 6
Basel, 4052

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