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Après nous le déluge? Perceived distance of climate change impacts and pro-environmental behaviour

Benjamin Volland

No 18-05, IRENE Working Papers from IRENE Institute of Economic Research

Abstract: This research addresses the role of perceived distance of climate change impacts as an antecedent of pro-environmental behaviour using data from a large, representative survey. Doing so, it complements existing research that has largely concentrated on environmental concerns, beliefs and behavioural intentions. Focusing on temporal and spatial distance dimensions, it finds that differences in perceptions are reflected in differences in self-reported pro-environmental behaviours but that the relevance of perceived distance rapidly vanishes as this distance increases. Little systematic evidence emerges that individuals take climate impacts into account when these impacts are not anticipated to produce personal consequences. Some implications for the promotion of pro-environmental behaviour relying on “proximising” climate change impacts are discussed.

Keywords: Psychological distance; Discounting; Proenvironmental behaviour; UK (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D15 D91 Q54 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-env and nep-eur
Date: 2018-07
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