Think Globally, Act Locally: The Determinants of Local Policymakers’ Support for Climate Policy
Despite the significant threat posed by climate change, it remains a polarizing issue and thus efforts at the federal level to combat it have achieved only limited success. This dynamic has increased the importance of environmental initiatives at the local level, where the likelihood of adopting policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is greater.
This project examines: (1) the factors that make local policymakers more or less likely to support climate policies; (2) the areas where elite and public opinion agree and where they diverge; and (3) the public’s second-order beliefs about the preferences of local policymakers. In order to do so, the researchers conduct a conjoint experiment leveraging a unique sample of local policymakers that includes mayors, county executives, and council members; carry out a follow-up experiment on the general public that replicates and extends the initial study; and convene a focus group of local policymakers.