Politicians and climate change: A systematic review of the literature

Moore, Brendan, Geese, Lucas ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5085-5029, Kenny, John, Dudley, Harriet ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7726-9388, Jordan, Andy ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7678-1024, Prados Pascual, Alba, Lorenzoni, Irene, Schaub, Simon, Enguer, Joan and Tosun, Jale (2024) Politicians and climate change: A systematic review of the literature. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change. ISSN 1757-7780

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Abstract

Politicians' engagement with climate change is the focus of an emerging literature, but this research has not been subjected to systematic analysis. To address this important gap, we perform a systematic review of 141 articles on politicians and climate change published between 1985 and 2021. We find a growing research area; almost half of the articles were published after 2018. Existing research is fragmented and focused on a small number of democracies in the Global North, with the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Norway and Australia being the most-heavily studied. Substantively, we analyze politicians' motivations, the incentives and barriers they face, and the strategies they employ to block/enable climate action. We find evidence of politicians being both intrinsically and extrinsically motivated. Intrinsic motivations often derive from formative experiences occurring prior to entering politics. Extrinsic motivations most commonly include publics/voters and external events. Importantly, intrinsic and extrinsic motivations vary in different political contexts, and indeed these two motivations may pull politicians in different directions. Politicians may employ various strategies—such as reframing—to achieve their desired policy outcomes. Moreover, politicians' motivations and strategies in relation to climate change are not static, but often vary. We conclude that there is an urgent need for research on how politicians are enabled and/or constrained by political system characteristics. Research is especially called for in the Global South and/or less democratic systems, as well as on investigating how politicians are (not) decarbonizing difficult-to-abate sectors and how they reconcile the sometimes-competing demands for climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: Funding was generously provided by the ERC (via the DeepDCarb Advanced Grant 882601), and the UK ESRC (via the Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations (CAST) (Grant ES/S012257/) and the SeNSS DTP (Grant ES/P00072X/1)).
Uncontrolled Keywords: climate change,climate policy,policy makers,politicians,systematic review,geography, planning and development,global and planetary change,atmospheric science,sdg 13 - climate action ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3300/3305
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
UEA Research Groups: University of East Anglia Schools > Faculty of Science > Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
Faculty of Science > Research Centres > Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 08 Jul 2024 11:33
Last Modified: 15 Jul 2024 08:31
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/95822
DOI: 10.1002/wcc.908

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