Co-benefits of addressing climate change can motivate action around the world

Bain, Paul G., Milfont, Taciano L., Kashima, Yoshihisa, Bilewicz, Michał, Doron, Guy, Garðarsdóttir, Ragna B., Gouveia, Valdiney V., Guan, Yanjun, Johansson, Lars-Olof, Pasquali, Carlota, Corral-Verdugo, Victor, Aragones, Juan Ignacio, Utsugi, Akira, Demarque, Christophe, Otto, Siegmar, Park, Joonha, Soland, Martin, Steg, Linda, González, Roberto, Lebedeva, Nadezhda, Madsen, Ole Jacob, Wagner, Claire, Akotia, Charity S., Kurz, Tim, Saiz, José L., Schultz, P. Wesley, Einarsdóttir, Gró, & Saviolidis, Nina M. (2016) Co-benefits of addressing climate change can motivate action around the world. Nature Climate Change, 6, pp. 154-157.

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Personal and political action on climate change is traditionally thought to be motivated by people accepting its reality and importance. However, convincing the public that climate change is real faces powerful ideological obstacles1, 2, 3, 4, and climate change is slipping in public importance in many countries5, 6. Here we investigate a different approach, identifying whether potential co-benefits of addressing climate change7 could motivate pro-environmental behaviour around the world for both those convinced and unconvinced that climate change is real. We describe an integrated framework for assessing beliefs about co-benefits8, distinguishing social conditions (for example, economic development, reduced pollution or disease) and community character (for example, benevolence, competence). Data from all inhabited continents (24 countries; 6,196 participants) showed that two co-benefit types, Development (economic and scientific advancement) and Benevolence (a more moral and caring community), motivated public, private and financial actions to address climate change to a similar degree as believing climate change is important. Critically, relationships were similar for both convinced and unconvinced participants, showing that co-benefits can motivate action across ideological divides. These relationships were also independent of perceived climate change importance, and could not be explained by political ideology, age, or gender. Communicating co-benefits could motivate action on climate change where traditional approaches have stalled.

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ID Code: 87994
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: climate change
DOI: 10.1038/NCLIMATE2814
ISSN: 1758-6798
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited
Deposited On: 05 Oct 2015 22:57
Last Modified: 11 Feb 2016 04:43

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