Public Reflections on Climate Change and Energy Efficiency in Post-Socialist Perspective

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 10:45
Oral Presentation
Polina ERMOLAEVA, Kazan Federal University, Russian Federation
Irina KUZNETSOVA, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom
The study provides holistic insights in the form of the case study on the Russian lay people versus expert community attitudes, behavioral practices and mitigation actions towards the climate change and energy efficiency. Based on the representative survey of the citizens, semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders and desk research of the secondhand sources, the research portrayed that public awareness about the climate change issues has been constantly raising. The given trend could be associated with an increased role of post-materialist values, recent extreme weather events amplified by wider media coverage, and by a greater prominence of climate change in international politics. However, some experts express skepticism towards climate change, which they rationalize by normal climate fluctuation processes over time and general mistrust on climate change data. Consistent with on-going climate research, the study portrays a discrepancy between the high concern on climate change and low environmental sound practices. The main barriers of behavioral contributes toward climate change for Russians are associated with external and internal barriers. Key internal barriers include lack of knowledge, uncertainty, paternalistic values and switch the responsibility of a healthy environment from themselves to the governmental officials. Main structural barriers include the underprivileged role of climate change for the Russian government, resource-driven economy, undeveloped environmental infrastructure and poor execution of environmental legislation that could create the feeling of cynicism and fatigue among citizens. Thus, both experts and population prioritize legislative improvement and its constant adaptation to the current climate processes as a productive climate change mitigation and adaptation action.