Insights on the Perception and Engagement of Citizens with th ...

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  • Title: Insights on the Perception and Engagement of Citizens with the Action Plan of the Declaration of Climate Change Emergency by the City Councils: The Case of Sant Cugat del Vallès
  • Author(s): Rachil Koumproglou
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Climate Change: Impacts and Responses
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses
  • Keywords: Climate Change, Declaration of Climate Emergency, Risk Perception, Citizen Engagement, City Council
  • Volume: 16
  • Issue: 2
  • Date: March 15, 2024
  • ISSN: 1835-7156 (Print)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/1835-7156/CGP/v16i02/1-25
  • Citation: Koumproglou, Rachil. 2024. "Insights on the Perception and Engagement of Citizens with the Action Plan of the Declaration of Climate Change Emergency by the City Councils: The Case of Sant Cugat del Vallès." The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses 16 (2): 1-25. doi:10.18848/1835-7156/CGP/v16i02/1-25.
  • Extent: 25 pages

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Abstract

Climate change threatens the quality of life of human communities and the ecosystem balance. Greenhouse gas emissions have grown constantly owing to human activities and have contributed to global heating above 1C since the pre-industrial age. As a result, human societies have experienced the damaging effects of extreme natural events. In response, city councils around the world declare a climate emergency and are committed to action plans to reach zero net emissions. To study the impact of risk perception of climate change on the acceptance and engagement of local communities in these initiatives, we conducted a survey of the population of Sant Cugat del Vallès, a middle-sized town in Catalonia (Spain) that declared a climate emergency. Correlation analysis demonstrated that the emotions of concern or anxiety about climate change and the perception of personal responsibility to act are associated with higher support for the action plan. However, more people remain indecisive if they are called to actively participate in planned actions. Mistrust of local authorities is shown to undermine the belief of the population in reaching their goals. Instead, the respondents mostly trusted experts on receiving information about climate change. Furthermore, the city should bear in mind the almost complete lack of participation of young people in the survey, although this was open to all populations aged over 16. The implications of these results for local governments’ communication strategies are discussed.