Event Title

Assessing American and Chinese Citizen Support for Joining an International Climate Change Treaty

Mentor 1

Eric Jamelske

Mentor 2

James Boulter

Mentor 3

Won Jang

Location

Union Wisconsin Room

Start Date

24-4-2015 2:30 PM

End Date

24-4-2015 3:45 PM

Description

Climate change could be the single most important issue of our time. China and the United States share the highest importance related to potential climate change mitigation policies because they are the world’s two largest greenhouse gas (GHG) polluters and the two largest economies. Efforts to address climate change through international cooperation have largely taken place through the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). These negotiations have been highlighted by tensions between developed and developing countries regarding what actions to take and who should bear the costs. The Kyoto Protocol, passed in 1997 and entered into force by ratifying countries in 2005 did not call for GHG reductions by developing countries, thus placing the burden of change on developed nations. The fact that China was not required to reduce emissions under Kyoto was cited as an important determinant in the United States decision to not ratify this treaty. Despite some successes, the Kyoto Protocol has largely failed as a result of the differential treatment of developed and developing nations and the lack of United States and Chinese involvement. In fact, the interaction between China and the United States with respect to climate negotiations can best be described as somewhat adversarial. Because meaningful climate change action will require the cooperation and participation of both China and the United States, it is increasingly important to understand what Chinese and American citizens think about this issue. Thus, a better understanding of public support for climate policy action in both countries is of great interest. We use data from surveys conducted in the US (n=3,641) and China (n=3,717) between September and November 2013 to explore American and Chinese views regarding whether or not their country should join an international treaty to address climate change. We find significantly greater support for joining an international climate treaty in China (86.5%) compared to the US (68.8%). Support for joining an international climate change agreement drops by approximately 10 percentage points in each country if it is stated that the other country will not also join the treaty. Our analysis also reveals a positive correlation between support for international climate action and acceptance of the substantial scientific consensus regarding the realities of anthropogenic climate change. The results of this study should be interesting and informative to all parties considering the issue of global climate change policy. This presentation leads into a second presentation comparing American and Chinese citizens’ willingness to pay for climate change mitigation policy action using the same data.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 24th, 2:30 PM Apr 24th, 3:45 PM

Assessing American and Chinese Citizen Support for Joining an International Climate Change Treaty

Union Wisconsin Room

Climate change could be the single most important issue of our time. China and the United States share the highest importance related to potential climate change mitigation policies because they are the world’s two largest greenhouse gas (GHG) polluters and the two largest economies. Efforts to address climate change through international cooperation have largely taken place through the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). These negotiations have been highlighted by tensions between developed and developing countries regarding what actions to take and who should bear the costs. The Kyoto Protocol, passed in 1997 and entered into force by ratifying countries in 2005 did not call for GHG reductions by developing countries, thus placing the burden of change on developed nations. The fact that China was not required to reduce emissions under Kyoto was cited as an important determinant in the United States decision to not ratify this treaty. Despite some successes, the Kyoto Protocol has largely failed as a result of the differential treatment of developed and developing nations and the lack of United States and Chinese involvement. In fact, the interaction between China and the United States with respect to climate negotiations can best be described as somewhat adversarial. Because meaningful climate change action will require the cooperation and participation of both China and the United States, it is increasingly important to understand what Chinese and American citizens think about this issue. Thus, a better understanding of public support for climate policy action in both countries is of great interest. We use data from surveys conducted in the US (n=3,641) and China (n=3,717) between September and November 2013 to explore American and Chinese views regarding whether or not their country should join an international treaty to address climate change. We find significantly greater support for joining an international climate treaty in China (86.5%) compared to the US (68.8%). Support for joining an international climate change agreement drops by approximately 10 percentage points in each country if it is stated that the other country will not also join the treaty. Our analysis also reveals a positive correlation between support for international climate action and acceptance of the substantial scientific consensus regarding the realities of anthropogenic climate change. The results of this study should be interesting and informative to all parties considering the issue of global climate change policy. This presentation leads into a second presentation comparing American and Chinese citizens’ willingness to pay for climate change mitigation policy action using the same data.