On the nexus between material and ideological determinants of climate policy support

Gustav Agneman, Sofia Henriks, Hanna Bäck, Emma Renström

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This study explores how rising economic costs of climate mitigation policies differentially shape climate policy support among the political left and right. To this end, we randomly manipulate how much consumption costs increase as a result of four different climate mitigation policies and study how different cost scenarios influence policy support among a sample of 1,597 Swedish adults. We find that more costly climate policies induce greater climate policy polarization, since right-leaning participants display both lower baseline and more cost-sensitive climate policy support. In addition, we investigate how policy costs affect participants’ concerns about the climatic consequences of consumption. While inconclusive, the results indicate that right-leaning participants, in some instances, display less concern about the climatic consequences of consumption when policy costs rise. This pattern can be understood through the lens of motivated disbelief, which holds that people adjust their beliefs in order to support their preferred actions. The present study provides novel insights as to how and when material conditions influence climate policy preferences.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108119
JournalEcological Economics
Publication statusPublished - 2024-Feb-10

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Political Science (506)


  • Climate polarization
  • Climate policy support
  • Inflation
  • Political ideology


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