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Voting for Tomorrow: Climate Change, Environmental Concern, and Green Voting

Number: 146
Year: 2021
Author(s): Roman Hoffmann, Raya Muttarak, Jonas Peisker, Piero Stanig
Keywords: voting,climate change,environment,green voting
In the past decade, the world has witnessed increased climate change impacts with many countries experiencing more frequent and more severe climate extremes. With public support being fundamental in scaling up climate action, here, we analyze the impact of exposure to climate extremes on environmental concern and Green voting for a large panel of European countries. Combining high-resolution climatological data with regionally aggregated and harmonized information on environmental concern (42 Eurobarometer surveys, 2002-2019, 34 countries) and European Parliamentary electoral outcomes (7 elections, 1990-2019, 28 countries) at the subnational level, we find a significant and sizeable effect of temperature anomalies, heat episodes and dry spells in the previous 12 months on green concern and voting. The effects differ significantly by region and are most pronounced in regions with a cooler Continental or temperate Atlantic climate, and weaker in regions with a warmer Mediterranean climate. The relationship is moderated by regional GDP suggesting that climate change experience increase public support for climate action only under favorable economic conditions. By empirically documenting the important role of contextual influences and regional differences on green concern and voting, our findings have important implications for the current efforts to promote and implement climate actions in line with the Paris Agreement.



Roman Hoffmann, 
Vienna Institute of Demography (OeAW), Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital (IIASA, OeAW, University of Vienna), Vienna, Austria

International Institute of Applied System Analysis, Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital (IIASA, OeAW, University of Vienna), Laxenburg, Austria

Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Potsdam, Germany



Raya Muttarak
International Institute of Applied System Analysis, Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital (IIASA, OeAW, University of Vienna), Laxenburg, Austria



Jonas Peisker
Vienna Institute of Demography (OeAW), Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital (IIASA, OeAW, University of Vienna), Vienna, Austria



Piero Stanig
Department of Social and Political Sciences, Dondena Centre, and Baffi-CAREFIN Centre, Bocconi University, Milan, Italy



Language: English
The paper may be downloaded here.