The politics of climate change, including carbon pricing, remain challenging. Many climate policies foreground costs and background benefits, leaving the policies vulnerable to political attacks by fossil fuel interests. The paper presented in this Research Seminar will share a series of experiments testing strategies to build public support for specific climate policies. First, the authors will share the results from two information experiments conducted in Switzerland and Canada, the two countries that have set up rebate programs to accompany national carbon prices. The authors find limited evidence that individuals who learn about rebates they are currently receiving, shift their preferences for the rebate-generating policy. In follow-up work, the paper provides detailed cost and benefit information with survey respondents in the United States and Switzerland, tailoring this information to household size and income quintiles. Providing specific benefit and cost information increases support for climate policy, especially among low-income groups, in the abstract. However, the effects disappear in the presence of even mild political messaging. Finally, the authors present results from a conjoint experiment conducted in ten of the largest carbon-polluters globally, testing whether political coalitions for climate reforms expand when integrating social and economic policies into climate reform packages. They find strong evidence that these benefits-oriented packages enjoy increased public support, even in the presence of realistic information about program costs.


Matto Mildenberger

University of California Santa Barbara, USA

Environmental, energy, and ecological problems have grown faster than their solutions. Economists have an important role to play to address these issues by using the latest science, rigorous methods and innovative policy solutions. The SWEEEP webinar series aims to convene the academic community to contribute to the scientific, economic, and policy discourses on important environmental and energy issues.

The seminar presentations are scheduled to last 60 minutes, with questions at the end.

The European Institute on Economics and the Environment is a partnership between Resources for the Future and Foundation CMCC. EIEE’s impartial economic and environmental research aims to facilitate the transition to a sustainable, inclusive society.
Contact: Professor Massimo Tavoni

The Energy Management research team at the Grenoble Ecole de Management (GEM) combines research on economics, strategic management, technology innovation and energy policy in order to create and share knowledge that will help society move towards a low-carbon future.
Contact: Professor Sébastien Houde

The ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research is a leading German economic policy institute and a member of the Leibniz Association. ZEW's applied research aims to study and help design well-performing markets and institutions in Europe. In particular, it seeks to understand how to create a market framework that will enable the sustainable and efficient development of European economies.
Contact: Professor Sebastian Rausch

The Centre for Energy Policy and Economics (CEPE) was established in 1999 to complement the natural science and technical-oriented disciplines at ETH Zurich, by contributing to research and teaching in energy policy and economics.  Through rigorous application of modern empirical methods, the goal of CEPE is to make critical contributions to the design and evaluation of energy and climate policy instruments.
Contact: Professor Massimo Filippini

Please contact Marc Frick if you wish to participate in the online seminar.


30.03.2022 | 15:00 - 16:30 (CET)

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