in: European Journal of Development Research, first published 06.05.2022
Significant climate change mitigation policies are urgently needed to achieve emissions reduction targets. This paper shows that social protection and social cohesion play a critical role in making climate policies more acceptable to citizens by summarizing existing streams of research focusing on industrialized countries. Further, the empirical analysis explores whether these relationships also hold for low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), which are increasingly implementing climate change mitigation policies. The results show that vertical and horizontal trust increase acceptability in all countries. However, preferences for social protection have a positive effect only in industrialized ones. This may suggest a contrast between social and environmental goals in LMICs, where social goals are prioritized. The analysis also revealed a significant interaction between social cohesion and social protection. The paper concludes by discussing the existing research gap as to LMICs and outlines policy options to overcome the conflict between social and environmental goals.