On Carbon Pricing Policies and Public Perception of Fairness– Analysing the Public Acceptance of Decarbonisation Transitions using Quantitative Methods
Carbon pricing is a necessary climate measure to reduce emissions yet has also been met with public resistance due to distributional concerns. For low- and middle-income countries, which face disproportionate risks from climate change, the trade-offs between climate and potential socioeconomic policies present a unique political challenge. To identify viable entry points for ambitious climate policies, analysis of public perception of fairness is becoming increasingly relevant. In my doctoral work I aim to identify publicly and socially acceptable climate policies, focusing on Ecuador as a case study. I will first synthesise English- and Spanish-language studies to provide an overview of the available literature by conducting a systematic review. The results will highlight current knowledge about the relationship between public perceptions of fairness related to carbon pricing policies, including fossil fuel subsidy reforms and various revenuerecycling schemes. The results will also lay the groundwork for an in-country survey. Second, to examine how fairness preferences influence support for fossil fuel subsidy reform and revenuerecycling options, I will carry out a first-of-its-kind public opinion survey in Ecuador. The results will lead to a better understanding of the attitudes, values, and behaviours of different population segments. To triangulate the findings from the survey, I will use a methodology for a discourse analysis to analyse the changes in arguments (opinions) posted on the social media website “Twitter” during protests in response to the subsidy reform policy introduced in Ecuador in 2019. All three studies intend to shed light on public perception of fairness related to carbon pricing designs, and their feasibility, and provide methodologies for future research.