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Multiple criteria analysis of citizens’ information and trust in climate change actions


In the past decades, the stakeholders, due to the evident impacts of climate change, were more involved in strategic actions and informing the public opinion on climate change. However, in order to achieve ongoing and substantial public participation in climate change actions undertaken by the stakeholders, the public will need to be fully informed about the causes and effects of climate change so that a mutual relationship of trust may be established. The present study aims to investigate public perceptions of the information citizens obtain from information sources, stakeholders'  share of responsibility for climate change and citizens’ degree of trust in the stakeholders which affects public participation in climate change actions. The study was conducted in Greece, where 1536 questionnaires were collected from January 2014 to June 2015. The collected data were analyzed using descriptive and nonparametric statistics, as well as the MUSA method (MUlticriteria Satisfaction Analysis). The study findings indicated that the citizens do not trust adequately information sources regarding climate change and, at the same time, they perceive that the dissemination of information on climate change is limited and consider that the media which use scientific knowledge provide more objective information. Moreover, Greek citizens consider that industries, oil companies and governments contribute mostly to climate change and they were willing to participate in climate change actions carried out mainly by scientists, environmental groups, citizen groups and non-governmental organizations.

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Next, the respondents were asked which stakeholders they trusted mostly to participate in climate change actions that these stakeholders carry out (Fig. 7)

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Q8_1 = Industries, Q8_2 = Oil companies, Q8_3 = People driving big-engined cars, Q8_4 = Governments, Q8_5 = Political parties, Q8_6 = Scientists and universities, Q8_7 = Media. N = 1536 Chi-Square = 3599.42 df = 6 Asymp. Sig. < 0.001

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This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

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Correspondence to Evangelia Karasmanaki.

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Zerva, A., Grigoroudis, E., Karasmanaki, E. et al. Multiple criteria analysis of citizens’ information and trust in climate change actions. Environ Dev Sustain 23, 7706–7727 (2021).

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  • Climate change
  • Citizen trust
  • Environmental communication
  • MUSA method
  • Stakeholders