Climate Change Mitigation and Civic Education

Monday, 16 July 2018: 19:30
Oral Presentation
Maria CARVALHO, Centre for Research and Studies in Sociology - Portugal, Portugal
Literature demonstrates that social class and education in particular differentiate attitudes towards climate change, and people most involved in mitigation of climate change are professionals and those with extended schooling, but some studies show that the most involved are not necessarily those with higher income or with a university degree.

Research also shows a systematic gap between values and practices, with most people frequently valuing concerns about climate change but not always acting accordingly. And this gap doesn’t seem to vary significantly with social class and education.

In this paper we analyse if this gap, consistent involvement in climate change mitigation and activism depends not so much on class in its broad sense and on years of schooling but above all on the type of education, specially on civic education and its manifestation on fields of study in tertiary education, occupation, values and civic action.

For this purpose, we present a transnational analysis with data from the last round (2016) of the European Social Survey that includes a module on “Public Attitudes to Climate Change” and indicators of education, occupation, income, human values and civic action. Since empirical studies show that attitudes towards climate change also vary among nations and this database allows for cross-national comparison, we integrate cross national-comparison in this paper testing if those variations among countries are associated with prevalent national types of education.

This cross-national comparison also uses the IEA International Civic and Citizenship Education Study (1999-2016) that directly compares civic education among different countries, the Environmental Performance Index that encompass high-priority environmental policy issues, and OECD Reports “Education at a Glance”, “Social Indicators, Household Income”, and “Society at a Glance” that contain information on tertiary education, fields of study, and income.