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The polarization of public concern about climate change in Norway

Marianne Aasen

This article contributes to the existing literature by investigating the importance of value orientations for the Norwegian public's climate change concern, by analysing data from a national Gallup Poll from 2003 to 2011. Logistic regressions were conducted to investigate the importance of individualistic and egalitarian values for climate concern, and whether the groups of different value orientations have polarized in their climate concern over time. Respondents who hold less individualistic values and those holding egalitarian values are found more likely to be concerned about climate change than are those holding individualistic and less egalitarian values. Furthermore, the analyses find polarization in climate concern in the period for both value orientations. Increased focus on policy instruments in the political debate may be one explanation for values being increasingly salient. Future research should focus on studying ways to formulate policies given variations in values. One way would be to develop solutions that have co-benefits across groups of different value orientations. However, not all mitigation policies have immediate co-benefits for everyone. Research on how changes in the institutional setting may enhance the logic of social responsibility seems crucial.

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