Online Invited Seminar Talk
Voting for Tomorrow: Climate Change, Environmental Concern, and Green Voting
Laboratory of Digital and Computational Demography, October 13, 2021
Raya Muttarak from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis and the Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital analyses the impact of exposure to climate extremes on environmental concern and Green voting for a large panel of European countries.
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 analyse 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 favourable 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.
Raya Muttarak is the director of the Population and Just Societies Program at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA). Since 2017, she has also been Director of Population, Environment and Sustainable Development at the Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital based in Austria. Her research focuses mainly on the reciprocal relationship between population and the environment. Her current research projects include: 1) Differential impacts of climate variability on human health, migration and child welfare, 2) Climate change attitudes, voting patterns and environmental behaviours, 3) Modeling and forecasting future vulnerability and adaptive capacity. In her ERC project “POPCLIMA”, she investigates the impacts of climate change on demographic processes and will produce population projections accounting for the climate feedback. Furthermore, she is also actively engaged in empirical studies on a variety of topics ranging from the COVID-19 pandemic and gender disparities, estimates of migration intention to female empowerment and domestic violence. In 2018-20, she served as a Chair of Population-Environment Research Network of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP).
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Online Invited Seminar Talk, October, 13th from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. (Rostock time)