DIGSSCORE Tuesday seminar

Hanna Jones: Preliminary findings from a study of Norwegians’ perceptions of climate justice

Photo Hanna Jones

Hanna Jones, Master student at the Department of Comparative Politics, will present her master thesis today:

Preliminary findings from a study of Norwegians’ perceptions of climate justice

It is often argued that understanding what would be perceived as fair policy in the face of climate change is crucial for the success of any international climate change agreement. Even though states are the negotiating parties in international climate politics, it is the citizens who ultimately will bear many of the costs of mitigation. For citizens to be willing to change their lifestyles and not punish the politicians who commit the country to emissions cuts, commitments must be perceived as fair. Despite this, little work has been done so far on what citizens perceive as a fair allocation of responsibility in international climate policy.

In the academic literature there are four distinct lines of argument regarding what constitutes a fair distribution of the responsibility for emissions cuts: The polluter pays principle, the ability to pay principle, emissions grandfathering and equal per capital emissions. To varying degrees, these lines of argument have been influential in the discussions surrounding international climate policy, but little research has been done so far on which of these principles citizens perceive as fair.

The master’s thesis contributes to this field of research by exploring Norwegians’ perceptions of climate justice. Through a survey experiment and an open survey question, the thesis explores how ordinary citizens make the trade-off between the Norwegian economy and a fair distribution of responsibility when the country makes commitments in international climate change agreements. The thesis also looks at which (if any) of the most common principles of climate justice citizens perceive as fair.


Lunch is served at first come, first served basis.