Chapter 3: Attitudes towards climate change and economic inequality: a cross-national comparative study
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Both climate change and increasing economic inequalities are large challenges posed to policymakers today, but we know surprisingly little about the (potential) interrelationship between these two policy domains. This chapter examines the statistical association between climate change attitudes and attitudes towards distribution and welfare state retrenchment, using European Social Survey (ESS) 2016 data. Ordinary least squares (OLS) regressions are estimated with a basic set of sociodemographic control variables. We investigate whether the results converge for countries with similar geographical location and welfare state characteristics (Northern, Central, Western, Eastern and Southern Europe). People expressing egalitarian attitudes are more likely to care about climate change in a clear majority of the 23 included countries, whereas proponents of welfare state retrenchment seem to be somewhat less preoccupied with climate change. The association between egalitarianism and climate change attitudes appear to be strongest in Northern and Central European countries.