Communitarians, cosmopolitans, and climate change: why identity matters for EU climate and energy policy

Published Open Access in: Journal of European Public Policy, Volume 28, 2021
Author: Silvia Weko


“Can ambitious climate policies in the European Green Deal succeed when faced with rising societal divisions between Europeans? This paper undertakes an empirical analysis using data from the European Social Survey to see whether the divisions between cosmopolitan and communitarian Europeans evident in other policy fields like migration are also found in relation to climate and energy. The results show that political ideology is most important determinant of individual attitudes, and that differences in attitudes between Eastern and Western Europe may be explained by energy security and economic development issues. The EU has maintained an ambitious policy since the mid-2010s, and with the Green Deal appears to be framing climate ambition in ways that the data suggests may reduce communitarian opposition, but not the differences between EU Member States resulting from security concerns.”

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