This paper inquires into how individual attitudes to climate issues and support for climate policies have evolved in the context of the pandemic. Using data from a unique survey of 14,500 individuals across 16 major economies, this study shows that the experience of the COVID-19 pandemic increased concern for climate change and public support for green recovery policies. This suggests that the global health crisis has opened up more space for policy makers in key large economies to implement bolder climate policies. The study also finds that support for climate policies decreases when a person has experienced income and/or job loss during the pandemic. Protecting incomes and livelihoods in the near-term is thus important also from a climate policy perspective.
Environmental effects which were insignificant in the past, when the fewer concentrations of population or products of modern technology allowed the vast absorptive capacity of nature to act as a sink, are quite evident today--in the pollution of air or water, the overuse of potentially renewable fishing or forestry resources, or the wasteful extraction of nonrenewable, mineral, resources. To contribute to an overall understanding of environmental issues, this paper sets out a general analytical framework encompassing the physical character of environmental problems, the behavioral factors that contribute to them, and the principal approaches to their prevention and correction.