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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Public support for climate justice : a survey of British Columbia residents Gates, Jodie W.


This study examines public support for climate justice and climate policies, based on results from an online survey given to 971 respondents in British Columbia, Canada in July 2010. The concept of climate justice is rooted in the recognition that segments of the population may be more or less vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change, and that it is often the most vulnerable that are the least responsible for contributing to climate change. Climate justice is a growing area of research and the impetus for a burgeoning social movement worldwide; this study examines public perception of social aspects of climate change issues in British Columbia, providing insight into how individuals in a first world setting conceptualize vulnerability and responsibility to climate change on a provincial, national, and international level. The survey instrument for this study focused on climate change risk perception; fairness and responsibility in terms of climate action and climate impacts; levels of support for specific climate policy options; views on civic engagement and equality; and environmental attitudes. Findings show age to be the only socioeconomic demographic variable with significant effects on support for climate justice and climate policies, with older respondents more likely to show support. Respondents exhibiting greater support for civic engagement, greater support for equality, more proenvironmental attitudes, greater belief in climate action, and a belief in anthropogenic climate change are also more supportive. Recommendations for climate change decision-makers and communicators, as well as areas for future research, are also discussed.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International