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Examining Public Concern about Global Warming and Climate Change in China

  • Xinsheng Liu (a1), Feng Hao (a2), Kent Portney (a3) and Yinxi Liu (a4)


To what degree are Chinese citizens concerned about the seriousness of global warming and climate change (GWCC) and what are the key factors that shape their concern? Drawing theoretical insights from extant literature and using recent data from a national representative public survey (N = 3,748) and provincial environmental and economic statistics, this study, the first of its kind, examines the variations and determinants of Chinese GWCC concern. Our data show that in China, compared to other countries, average public concern about GWCC is relatively low, and concern varies greatly among Chinese citizens, across different provinces and between coastal and inland areas. Statistical analyses reveal that the levels of Chinese GWCC concern are significantly influenced by individual sociodemographic characteristics, personal post-materialist values, and regional economic dependency on carbon-intensive industries. Specifically, women and younger Chinese with greater post-materialist values are more concerned about GWCC than their counterparts, and citizens from provinces with higher economic dependency on carbon-intensive industries tend to be less concerned about GWCC than people from provinces with lower carbon dependency. We discuss key policy implications and make suggestions for future research in the conclusion.

中国公众对全球变暖和气候变化的严重性的关注度如何?影响他们关注度的关键因素是什么?本文从现有文献中汲取理论见解,首次运用最新全国代表性公众调查数据(N = 3,748)和省级环境及经济统计指标,分析中国公众对全球变暖和气候变化问题关注度的差异及其决定因素。数据显示,中国公众对全球变暖和气候变化的平均关注度相对其它国家较低,公众对这一问题的关注程度存在很大不同,各个省份之间以及沿海和内陆地区居民的关注度也有差异。统计分析表明,中国公众对全球变暖和气候变化的关注度,受到个体社会人口特征、个人后物质主义价值观、以及所在区域经济对碳密集型产业的依赖性的显著影响。具体而言,女性、年纪较轻、和具有较强后物质主义价值观的中国公民,对全球变暖和气候变化更为关注,而来自于经济上对碳密集型产业依赖度较高的省份的居民,对全球变暖和气候变化的关注程度则较低。在结论部分,我们讨论本研究的政策含义,并为未来的研究提出建议。


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Examining Public Concern about Global Warming and Climate Change in China

  • Xinsheng Liu (a1), Feng Hao (a2), Kent Portney (a3) and Yinxi Liu (a4)


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