African voters indicate lack of support for climate change policies

Nick Obradovich

Dec. 1, 2016


Will African voters support climate change policies? By 2020, the United Nations’ Green Climate Fund intends to provide tens of billions of dollars per year to African nations to support climate adaptation and mitigation policies. It is widely assumed that African citizens will support implementation of these climate policies. We observe the opposite result. In this article – across two experimental studies – we find evidence that Sub-Saharan African politicians who commit to climate change policies may lose electoral support. Electorally important swing voters with weak party affiliations are least likely to support party statements about climate change. Interviews with standing elected officials from Malawi and South Africa corroborate our experimental findings. The combined results suggest voter preferences may hinder the successful implementation of climate change policy in Sub-Saharan African democracies.

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