How the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the perception of climate change in the UK

Gabriele Ruiu, Maria Ruiu, Massimo Ragnedda*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic erupted during the climate change (CC) crisis, forcing individuals to adapt abruptly to a new scenario, and triggering changes in everyone’s lifestyles. Based on a sample of the UK population (N = 1013), this paper investigates how the COVID-19 pandemic invited/forced individuals to reflect upon a more sustainable way of life (which might be enhanced by the use of digital technologies for daily activities) and to (re)consider the anthropogenic impact on the environment. The results show that older individuals tend to be less sceptic around the human impact on CC. Other control variables such as income, gender and employment status have a limited impact on this attitude towards CC. Secondly, the findings indicate a clear separation between those with a minimal level of education, who support the natural origin of CC, while individuals with a higher level of education believe that CC is caused by human actions. Finally, on average, younger and more educated individuals tend to associate the COVID-19 pandemic with an opportunity to promote an eco-friendly world and to adopt an eco-sustainable approach.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages26
JournalAmerican Behavioral Scientist
Early online date24 Apr 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Apr 2022

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