Tuesday lunch webinar

Mari Helliesen: Framing effects on climate policy support

Mari Helliesen
Solfrid Langeland, UiB

Main content

Mari Helliesen, PhD Candidate at the Department of Comparative Politics, will give a 20 minute presentation on the following topic:

Framing effects on climate policy support

Follow this link to the presentation on Zoom.


Implementation of effective climate policies is prevented by a lack of public and political support, which is a major barrier to realizing a transition to a low-carbon economy. Framing is regarded as an effective communication strategy to increase policy support. This paper
measures framing effects on climate policy support, and the extent to which this effect is conditioned on values and ideology. I measure policy support among both the general public and elected representatives in Norway, through a novel survey experiment fielded in the Norwegian Citizen Panel (NCP) and the Panel of Elected Representatives (PER). The experiment includes two policy issues, one of which deals with carbon tax on high emission foods such as meat and dairy, and the other concerns spending public funds on cycle lanes. The frames cover two dimensions, responsibility versus benefit and individual versus collective. Specifically, they deal with public health and personal health, as well as national and personal emission reduction. I find that framing policy issues can reinforce pre-existing opinions. The same frames lead to less support on an unpopular policy (carbon tax on food) and more support on a popular policy (cycle lanes). Frames have more effects on citizens than representatives. Benefit frames are the most effective, increasing support for cycle lanes. Thus, framing climate policies in terms of health co-benefits, can increase policy support. However, it might also “boomerang”, when framing policy issues with low support.