Climate Belief and Issue Salience: Comparing Two Dimensions of Public Opinion on Climate Change in the EU

Sam Crawley, Hilde Coffé, Ralph Chapman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

Cross-country research on public opinion on climate change has mostly focused on people’s beliefs about whether climate change is happening or is a serious problem, with little attention paid to other opinion dimensions such as issue salience. Relying on Eurobarometer data from 28 EU member states, we systematically compare the public’s belief in and salience of climate change, examining variation across the EU using Bayesian multilevel analysis. We find high levels of belief but low levels of salience in most countries. Salience varies substantially between countries and is positively related to country wealth. Levels of greenhouse gas emissions appear to have a negative relationship with both belief and salience, and individuals’ political orientation has more influence on climate opinion (particularly salience) in richer countries than in poorer countries. Overall, our findings suggest that belief and salience are distinct dimensions, and that country context influences salience more than belief.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-325
Number of pages19
JournalSocial Indicators Research
Volume162
Issue number1
Early online date11 Nov 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2022

Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Cross-country
  • Eurobarometer
  • Public opinion, Issue salience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Climate Belief and Issue Salience: Comparing Two Dimensions of Public Opinion on Climate Change in the EU'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this