Climate Concern and Policy Support Among Early-Career Scientists in Europe

11 Pages Posted: 10 Mar 2020

See all articles by Soheil Shayegh

Soheil Shayegh

RFF-CMCC European Institute on Economy and the Environment (EIEE)

Matthew Sisco

Columbia University - Center for Research on Environmental Decisions

Ewan Geffroy

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: February 18, 2020

Abstract

The European Union (EU) is taking final steps towards the 2020 target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 20% from 1990 levels. The new generation of climate policies are being discussed and designed to achieve the EU commitments in the Paris agreement. Public support specially among the scientific community is the key determinant of the success of any climate policy. In this paper we report the result a broad survey of more than 800 alumni of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, a highly selective and prestigious European academic fellowship about their belief in climate change, their concerns about the status of it, and their support for an array of policy proposals to address this problem. We find that climate change has been accepted as a “fact” by overwhelming majority of the respondents while it is also considered the most concerning global issue for this group of future leaders of the EU scientific community. Allocating more funding towards renewable energy research and more carbon emission regulation received the most support from the respondents. The political beliefs and ideological affinity seem to play a minor role in their support for different policy proposals. In designing future climate policies in Europe, a bipartisan support for providing alternative energy options through funding renewable energy research may benefit from having a high priority.

• We conduct a survey of over 800 alumni of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, the up-and-coming generation of scientists in Europe who will be, sooner or later, in a position to shape the future of European climate policies.

• The overwhelming majority of the participants believe in climate change and rank it as the most concerning global issue higher than terrorism and international migration.

• Regardless of different political beliefs and ideological affinities, there is a consensus among the respondents to support more research in renewable energies and to more strictly regulate carbon emissions.

Keywords: Climate change, Climate communication, Climate policy, Climate worry

JEL Classification: C83, Q54

Suggested Citation

Shayegh, Soheil and Sisco, Matthew and Geffroy, Ewan, Climate Concern and Policy Support Among Early-Career Scientists in Europe (February 18, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3540284 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3540284

Soheil Shayegh (Contact Author)

RFF-CMCC European Institute on Economy and the Environment (EIEE) ( email )

Via Bergognone, 34
Milan
Italy

Matthew Sisco

Columbia University - Center for Research on Environmental Decisions ( email )

419 Schermerhorn Hall
1190 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10027
United States

Ewan Geffroy

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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