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Lily Banse
Lily Banse

Jan Urban, Davina Vačkářová, Tomas Badura; LIFE Tree Check 11. 1. 2022

Climate adaptation and climate mitigation do not undermine each other

A cross-cultural test in four countries

Adaptation and mitigation are both essential components of strategies that aim to decrease risks associated with climate change. A number of existing studies, however, suggest that the two might be negatively affecting each other – climate adaptation might decrease mitigation efforts and vice versa. We have examined these effects in five experimental studies carried out in four countries (total N = 4,800) and have used Bayesian analysis to evaluate the strength of empirical support for such effects. We did not find any evidence that compensation between climate mitigation and adaptation takes place. On the contrary, we found some evidence, albeit rather weak, that prior focus on adaptation measures increases the subsequent tendency to engage in mitigation behavior; this effect is likely to be driven by an increase in worry about the impacts of climate change that results from a prior focus on climate adaptation. If anything, offering adaptation options may increase the tendency to mitigate climate change.

Highlights

  • Expressing support for climate adaptation has either no or a small positive effect on the intention to mitigate.
  • This effect is mediated by heightened worry about the impacts of climate change.
  • Expressing intention to engage in climate mitigation has no effect on adaptation support.
  • Climate mitigation and adaptation do not undermine each other at the level of individual decision-making.

Article available for purchase in the Journal of Environmental Psychology:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0272494421001110

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