Climate Change Awareness: Empirical Evidence for the European Union
31 Pages Posted: 3 Jan 2020 Last revised: 7 Feb 2021
Date Written: November 14, 2020
In this paper, we assess public attitudes on climate change in Europe over the last decade. Using aggregate figures from the Special Eurobarometer surveys on Climate Change, we find that environmental concern is directly related to per capita income, social trust, secondary education, the physical distress associated with hot weather, media coverage, the share of young people in the total population, and monetary losses caused by extreme weather episodes. It is also inversely related to greenhouse gas emissions, relative power position of right-wing parties in government, and tertiary education. Moreover, we find a significant, opposite impact for two dummies for years 2017 and 2019, which we respectively associate with the effects of Donald Trump's denial campaigns and the U.S. Paris Agreement withdrawal announcement, and Greta Thunberg's environmental activism.
Keywords: climate change, environmental attitudes/concern, mitigation policy, EU
JEL Classification: Q50, Q54, Q58
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation