SWEEEP Webinar Matto Mildenberger
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SWEEEP Webinar Matto Mildenberger

Event details
March 30, 2022
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Online Event
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How to get the public on board with climate reforms 
Speaker: Matto Mildenberger, UC Santa Barbara, USA
Moderator: Silvia Pianta, European University Institute and RFF-CMCC European Institute on Economics and the Environment, Italy
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. In this talk, I will share a series of experiments testing strategies to build public support for specific climate policies. First, I 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. We 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, we provide 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, we 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. We find strong evidence that these benefits-oriented packages enjoy increased public support, even in the presence of realistic information about program costs.