Good COP/Bad COP: Estimating the Impact of Global Political Initiatives on Climate Change Attitudes

45 Pages Posted: 22 Nov 2023 Last revised: 18 Apr 2024

See all articles by Riccardo Di Leo

Riccardo Di Leo

European University Institute

Catarina Midões

Ca Foscari University of Venice; Autonomous University of Barcelona

Date Written: November 6, 2023


Whilst political initiatives and extreme weather events have been found to shape attitudes towards Climate Change (CC), their effect can be dampened by ideological and cognitive barriers. We study two global, bipartisan, political initiatives, 2021’s COP26 in Glasgow and 2016’s COP22 in Marrakech, boosting CC salience but having limited short-term concrete repercussions. We merge responses to Wave 8 and 10 of the European Social Survey (ESS), whose roll-out overlapped with the two Conferences, with daily, gridded temperature data, and find that respondents exposed to upwards temperature anomalies before the interview are more concerned about CC. Even accounting for such local salience shocks, respondents interviewed throughout Glasgow’s COP26 — but not 2016’s COP22 — and in the weeks following it, were more likely to express a higher preoccupation about CC. The effect appears driven by right-wing respondents, who also experience a reduction in their skepticism of human responsibility for CC.

Keywords: Climate Change, COP26, COP22, Climate Action, Public Opinion, Europe

JEL Classification: Q54, Q58, Z18

Suggested Citation

Di Leo, Riccardo and Midões, Catarina, Good COP/Bad COP: Estimating the Impact of Global Political Initiatives on Climate Change Attitudes (November 6, 2023). Available at SSRN: or

Riccardo Di Leo (Contact Author)

European University Institute ( email )

Villa Schifanoia
133 via Bocaccio
Firenze (Florence), Tuscany 50014

Catarina Midões

Ca Foscari University of Venice ( email )

Autonomous University of Barcelona ( email )

Plaça Cívica
Cerdañola del Valles
Barcelona, Barcelona 08193

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