Climate policy as a social question: Can social policies reduce opposition to carbon taxes?

Climate change is a global crisis that poses an immense challenge for both policy-makers and citizens in all countries. The determination to adopt an ambitious climate mitigation strategy depends to a large extent on the support of citizens. However, the outlook for broad popular acceptance of decarbonization is uncertain in the absence of reasonably equal social and economic conditions. The aim of the project is to investigate the conditions for public support for climate policy packages that combine both climate and welfare policy.

An emerging research literature has begun to explore the interlinkages between social conditions and public acceptance of decarbonization, but the majority of the existing studies have concentrated on individual policy instruments. This project uses comparative and experimental data to investigate how socioeconomic conditions and welfare regimes shape citizens’ willingness to support different climate policy packages that combine both decarbonization and welfare policies. First, the researchers explore how public acceptance of decarbonization policies varies across countries with dissimilar welfare state regimes and between individuals with different living conditions. Then they examine how support for different climate and welfare policy packages varies between different groups of citizens through an experimental case study of Sweden. Finally, they develop concrete decision-trees that visualize the support for various policy packages among different groups of citizens. The results of the project will provide decision-makers with the necessary knowledge to achieve a low-emission welfare state based on strong democratic support.

Principal Investigator: Joakim Palme

Period: 1 January 2022 - 31 December 2024

Financing: SEK 3 000 000 from Formas


Last modified: 2022-02-14