Table of Contents

Research Handbook on Climate Governance

Research Handbook on Climate Governance

Edited by Karin Bäckstrand and Eva Lövbrand

The 2009 United Nations climate conference in Copenhagen is often represented as a watershed in global climate politics, when the diplomatic efforts to negotiate a successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol failed and was replaced by a fragmented and decentralized climate governance order. In the post-Copenhagen landscape the top-down universal approach to climate governance has gradually given way to a more complex, hybrid and dispersed political landscape involving multiple actors, arenas and sites. The Handbook contains contributions from more than 50 internationally leading scholars and explores the latest trends and theoretical developments of the climate governance scholarship.

Chapter 35: Climate policy instruments

Simon Matti

Subjects: environment, climate change, environmental governance and regulation, environmental politics and policy, politics and public policy, environmental governance and regulation


A great number of policy instruments have been developed or proposed within the environmental sector, with the ambition to mitigate climate change by changing social choice mechanisms and thus initiating collective action in this regard. The effectiveness and efficiency of a policy instrument directed towards individual behaviors is, however, partially determined by the level of general public support the chosen instrument enjoys. On an aggregated level, public policy support determines policy choice and can thus explain the eligibility of specific instruments in specific contexts. On an individual level, policy support can help account for compliance and long-term stability of the policy. This chapter discusses the mechanisms behind public support for climate policy instruments and proposes a model of individual policy attitudes that account for and combines three broad elements that have been particularly emphasized throughout previous research: (1) moral-normative factors such values, beliefs and personal norms driving general environmental attitudes and behavior; (2) beliefs about the attributes of a specific policy instrument; and (3) interpersonal and institutional trust.

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