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Investigating how economic and national identity loss messages impact climate change policy support
journal contributionposted on 2023-02-15, 23:08 authored by Anna KlasAnna Klas, EJR Clarke, K Fielding, Matthew MackayMatthew Mackay, S Lohmann, M Ling
As climate change continues to be politically divisive, developing communications that align with right-leaning beliefs may increase bipartisan support for climate policy. In two experimental studies (Study 1, Australia, N = 558; Study 2, USA, N = 939), we tested whether an economic or national identity loss message would elicit greater support for mitigation and adaptation policies when compared to one another and to a control message. We also tested whether the direct effects of these loss-orientated messages were conditional on political orientation (specifically, identifying as politically right-leaning). In both studies, preliminary analyses indicated that there was a high level of support for both types of climate policy, but when compared to their left-wing counterparts, right-wing adherents were less likely to support mitigation and adaptation policies in either sample. Australian (Study 1) identification—although not American identity (Study 2)—also uniquely predicted adaptation support (but not mitigation support). There were no significant message frame or interaction effects in the Australian (Study 1) or US sample (Study 2). This suggests that neither an economic nor national identity loss message may be effective in overcoming the political polarization of climate change in Australia or the USA. Nevertheless, national identity could still play a useful role in Australian climate communications given its positive relationship to adaptation policy support and therefore warrants further investigation.
Article numberARTN 17
Publication classificationC1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
CategoriesNo categories selected
Science & TechnologyLife Sciences & BiomedicinePhysical SciencesEnvironmental SciencesMeteorology & Atmospheric SciencesEnvironmental Sciences & EcologyMitigation policyAdaptation policyClimate change communicationEconomic lossNational identity lossPolitical orientationSYSTEMCONSERVATISMPOLARIZATIONBELIEFS13 Climate Action