Can Concern for Air Quality Improvement Increase the Acceptability of Climate Change Mitigation Policies?

  • Vittorio Sergi
  • Paolo Giardullo
  • Yuri Kazepov
  • Michela Maione
Part of the Climate Change Management book series (CCM)


Air quality and climate change policies are finding new common grounds today as increasing social complexity requires better integration of separate knowledge domains. This chapter addresses the complex relationship between these two policy domains, their scientific background and the related acceptability issue, which varies substantially among countries and social groups and is influenced by social and cultural factors. The first section of this chapter describes the relationship between air quality and climate change policies. Indeed, global CO2 reduction objectives require complex adaptations of socio-economic behaviours that might not directly appear to be related to pollution reduction or to improvement the exposure of citizens to harmful pollutants. Recent studies, however, have confirmed that air pollution and its impacts are one of the main environmental concerns for citizens, even if relevant differences in public perception between countries still remain. This section also addresses the ambiguities and conflicts that characterise communication between experts and citizens. The second section briefly describes recent scientific evidence that shows the possibility of coupling air quality and climate change mitigation benefits with policies targeted at specific pollutants called short lived climate forcers (SLCF). The third section spells out some preliminary research questions on the acceptability of these policies and their complex relationship with individual interests and cultural contexts. Linking air quality to climate change could be a win-win strategy to increase the social acceptability of specific policies and their implementation if knowledge and communication gaps between citizens and policy makers will be reduced.


Air quality Climate change Policy acceptability Social perception Eurobarometer 



This paper has been made possible thanks to the FP7 SEFIRA Cooperation Project (2013–2016), which was financially supported by the European Union under the 7th Framework Program; Theme: ENV 2013.6.5-2 [ENV.2013.6.5-2] Mobilising environmental knowledge for policy and society Grant agreement: 603941 (Project Title: SEFIRA). The views expressed here are solely those of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vittorio Sergi
    • 1
  • Paolo Giardullo
    • 1
  • Yuri Kazepov
    • 2
  • Michela Maione
    • 1
  1. 1.University of UrbinoUrbinoItaly
  2. 2.University of ViennaViennaAustria

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