Medical Technology

Green Policies with Incentives Are More Popular Research shows

Climate policies that emphasize rewards rather than penalties could win more popularity with the public, but the social consequences of these policies could be even greater.

What you should be aware of:

  • Fourteen hundred and forty four Americans were surveyed online about their opinions on a range of climate policies. Participants indicated their degree of support for each policy and answered questions on how they felt these policies would affect the economy, the environment and society.

  • The results are published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology and Environmental Science and Policy, indicate that most people prefer policies that utilize incentives, such as rebates and tax breaks to those that use incentives that do not work, like taxing the highest energy users.

  • The preference was less pronounced when the penalties were aimed at business rather than individuals.

  • The study also showed that people are more likely to support policies that are geared towards developing alternative energy sources than those that seek to reduce energy use and that most people put more weight on a policy’s social impact, like whether it improves the health of individuals, than its economic effects.

  • These findings could be used to inform legislators and help them create policies that will get support and address public concerns.

This is an overview of the article, “The Public Prefers Climate Carrots to Climate Sticks,” published by Anthropocene Magazine on November 16. The full article can be found on anthropocenemagazine.org.

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