Centre for Climate and Energy Transformation (CET)

CET Lunch: Considering climate policy: Different roles in democracy – different prioritizations?

Welcome to our hybrid CET Lunch seminar with Mari Helliesen, senior researcher at NORCE.

image of Mari helliesen with CET lunch seminar written next to name
Our CET Lunches are hybrid.

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Our speaker will attend in person. Participants can sign up and tune in via stream, or turn up at CET where lunch will be served on a first-come, first-served basis.

In this study, we analyse (in)congruence in perceptions of key criteria for policymaking between three groups with different societal functions. We elicit the prioritization of decision criteria for choosing climate mitigation measures to assess whether respondents in the Norwegian Citizen Panel, the Norwegian Panel of Elected Representatives, and The Norwegian Panel of Public Administrators support incremental or radical climate policy making.

In general, citizens and elected officials are more congruent with each other than they are with bureaucrats. Among the three groups, elected officials generally rate the different criteria as more important aspects of decision-making than citizens and bureaucrats do.

Bureaucrats, elected officials, and citizens alike assign most importance to whether the measure develops technology that can lead to large-scale emission reductions. This finding aligns with previous research showing comparatively high levels of technology optimism in Norway, i.e., that Norwegians have a strong belief that new technology will solve climate challenges.

Bureaucrats consider the effect on the Norwegian economy as the least important decision criteria. Citizens, on the other hand, rate the display of Norway’s global responsibility as the least important consideration. Elected representatives place the least importance on recommendation by experts, while this is the second most important consideration for bureaucrats.

About the speaker:

Mari S. Helliesen holds a PhD in comparative politics from the University of Bergen. She is a senior researcher in the Climate, Environment, and Sustainability research group at NORCE Norwegian Research Centre. Her research mainly revolves around public opinion, climate policy and representation.