Climate Change Awareness: Empirical Evidence for the European Union

32 Pages Posted: 3 Jan 2020 Last revised: 20 Apr 2020

See all articles by Donatella Baiardi

Donatella Baiardi

University of Pavia; University of Parma

Claudio Morana

Università di Milano Bicocca; Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Department of Economics, Management and Statistics (DEMS); Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Center for European Studies (CefES); Center for Economic Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies (CeRP); University of Bologna - Rimini Center for Economic Analysis (RCEA)

Date Written: February 14, 2020

Abstract

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 climate change attitudes have evolved according to the "S-shaped" information dissemination model, conditional to various socioeconomic and climatological factors. In particular, we find that environmental awareness is directly related to per capita income, social trust, secondary education, the physical distress associated with hot weather and loss caused by extreme weather episodes. It is also inversely related to greenhouse gas emissions and tertiary education. Moreover, consistent with our epidemics-like narrative, we find a negative impact for Donald Trump's denial campaigns and a larger positive effect for Greta Thunberg's environmental activism. In terms of policy implications, this paper calls on the EU to take up leadership in the fight against climate change and declare a climate emergency. It also calls on teachers to introduce their students to climate change, science journals to allow wide access to any climate change article they publish and public institutions to protect climate change evidence from politicization. This paper finally calls for the close coordination of monetary and fiscal policies, to allow the green bonds market to reach rapidly the size required for the implementation of effective climate change mitigation policies.

Keywords: climate change, environmental attitude, green bonds, mitigation policy, EU

JEL Classification: Q50, Q54, Q58

Suggested Citation

Baiardi, Donatella and Morana, Claudio, Climate Change Awareness: Empirical Evidence for the European Union (February 14, 2020). University of Milan Bicocca Department of Economics, Management and Statistics Working Paper No. 426, January 2020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3513061 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3513061

Donatella Baiardi

University of Pavia ( email )

Corso Strada Nuova, 65
27100 Pavia, 27100
Italy

University of Parma ( email )

Via Amendola 10
Parma, 43100
United States

Claudio Morana (Contact Author)

Università di Milano Bicocca ( email )

Dip Economia Metodi Quantitativi Strategie Impresa
Piazza dell'Ateneno Nuovo 1
Milano, 20126
Italy
+39 0264483091 (Phone)

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Department of Economics, Management and Statistics (DEMS) ( email )

Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo, 1
Milan, 20126
Italy

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Center for European Studies (CefES) ( email )

U6 Building
Viale Piero e Alberto Pirelli, 22
Milano, 20126
Italy

Center for Economic Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies (CeRP) ( email )

Moncalieri, Turin
Italy

University of Bologna - Rimini Center for Economic Analysis (RCEA) ( email )

Via Patara, 3
Rimini (RN), RN 47900
Italy

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