Journal paper
TitleClimate Change, Public Awareness and Pro-environmental Behaviors: An Empirical Test of the Giddens’s Paradox
Issue No.28
Publish Date2012-10
Author NameYi-Jen Shih; Wen-Shan Yang
AbstractHow to respond to climate change and its adverse effects has become one of the most important international environmental issues since the 1980s. Anthony Giddens argues that most democratic countries face the challenges of the so-called Giddens’s Paradox when it comes to climate policy decision-making. In other words, the public awareness of climate change does not reflect their behaviors, therefore it is not ideal to be used as a reference for making policies related to climate change. This study aims to explore the relationship between the elements of Giddens’s Paradox, particularly climate risks, environmental public goods and temporal discounts, and Taiwanese respondents’ environmental behaviors. The data from the Taiwan Social Change Survey 2010 round 6 Environment Module’s dataset is used in this analysis. Findings show that these three elements of Gidden’s Paradox have different influence on pro-environmental behaviors. The element of climate risks tend to only affect respondents in terms of their willingness to pay higher prices for commodities, while public goods and temporal discounts increase people’s willingness to pay higher commodity prices and higher taxes and accept cuts in the standard of living to avoid environmental degradation.
KeywordsGiddens’s paradox; climate change;environmental behavior; temporal discounts; environmental public goods
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