The effects of social protection and social cohesion on the acceptability of climate change mitigation policies: what do we (not) know in the context of low- and middle-Income countries?

Malerba, Daniele
External Publications (2022)

in: European Journal of Development Research 34, 1358–1382

Open access

Significant climate change mitigation policies are urgently needed to achieve emissions reduction targets. This paper shows that social protection and social cohesion play a critical role in making climate policies more acceptable to citizens by summarizing existing streams of research focusing on industrialized countries. Further, the empirical analysis explores whether these relationships also hold for low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), which are increasingly implementing climate change mitigation policies. The results show that vertical and horizontal trust increase acceptability in all countries. However, preferences for social protection have a positive effect only in industrialized ones. This may suggest a contrast between social and environmental goals in LMICs, where social goals are prioritized. The analysis also revealed a significant interaction between social cohesion and social protection. The paper concludes by discussing the existing research gap as to LMICs and outlines policy options to overcome the conflict between social and environmental goals.

About the author


Further experts

Aleksandrova, Mariya

Climate risk governance 

Balasubramanian, Pooja

Social Economics 

Brandi, Clara

Economy and Political Science 

Burchi, Francesco

Development Economy 

Dippel, Beatrice


Donnelly, Aiveen

Politcal Science 

Ekoh, Susan S.

Environmental Research 

Goedeking, Nicholas

Comparative Political Economy 

Lehmann, Ina

Political Science 

Loewe, Markus


Mathis, Okka Lou

Political Scientist 

Never, Babette

Political Scientist 

Pegels, Anna


Srigiri, Srinivasa Reddy

Agricultural Economist 

Strupat, Christoph