Public Support Must for Meaningful strides in Climate Mitigation

As tackling climate change becomes an urgent and fundamental challenge, public support is a must for making any meaningful strides toward implementing climate mitigation policies and achieving de carbonization.

Despite progress in policy commitments, ambitions and implementation still lag behind to make a real dent in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and limiting global warming to between 1.5 and 2oC. Garnering public buy-in for climate policies can help countries achieve climate goals, said IMF.

The IMF said in their analysis of a survey held in 28 28 advanced and emerging market economies. The survey sheds light on the individual characteristics and beliefs associated with climate risk perceptions and preferences for climate policies.

The IMF said that the surveys were conducted at a time when high energy prices and their cost-of-living impacts were particularly salient for the public. Across countries, most people surveyed were concerned about climate change, with a higher share in emerging market economies already feeling its effects compared with advanced economies, but that concern alone does not translate into across-the-board support for policies.

IMPORTANT FINDINGS

  • Providing information about climate change impacts, how carbon pricing works, options for revenue recycling, and improving awareness of policy co-benefits can all be critical to garnering acceptance of carbon pricing.
  • Concerns about policy costs and effectiveness are top of mind among respondents who oppose carbon pricing. Striving for clear and effective communication about policy efficacy and trade-offs, as well as how carbon pricing can be made progressive, is crucial. The surveys show that carbon pricing can receive stronger support if revenues are redistributed to low-income households, used to increase social spending on health care and education, or earmarked to fund green infrastructure and low-carbon technologies.
  • Co-benefits of climate policy resonate strongly with the public and counter erosion of support for climate action when cost implications of policies are presented. improved air quality, health benefits, less road congestion, and job creation can help ameliorate the sensitivity of the public to negative price considerations.
  • Complementary measures and frameworks needed to bolster support for climate mitigation policies. Distributional considerations warrant strengthened social protection systems. Similarly, concerns about corruption can result in opposition to subsidies for low-carbon technologies and renewables, particularly in emerging market economies. This suggests that government spending efficiency matters when it comes to improving the acceptability of climate policies. Strengthened social safety nets, active labour market policies, clear and transparent emissions regulations, supply-side policies ensuring adequate and affordable low-carbon energy supply, and green public financial management systems are thus important enablers of an integrated government strategy to combat climate change.
  • The surveys point to broader-than-expected support for collective action and greater common ground for crafting international agreements. respondents in most emerging market countries also think that all countries should pay to address climate change and that burden sharing should be based on current rather than historical emissions. Cooperation among countries could induce greater political support for climate action.
  • The surveys underscore the critical importance of effective communication and building awareness with respect to climate policy options

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