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Environmental concern is crucial as bottom-up support for policies that aim to tackle the multiple ecological crises. This paper investigates which characteristics of 206 European regions are robust drivers of generalized environmental concern. To this end, 25 Eurobarometer survey waves between 2009 and 2019 were combined with measures of the regional economy, population, geography, environmental quality, and meteorological events. Bayesian model averaging is used to systematically account for model uncertainty in the estimation of partial correlations. The results indicate that environmental concern increases with income level, a more equal distribution of income and wealth, and a less greenhouse gas-intensive industrial sector. Furthermore, regions with younger and better educated populations exhibit higher levels of environmental concern. In terms of environmental characteristics, both geographical vulnerability to natural hazards and meteorological events affect environmental concern. The results highlight the importance of the socio-economic and environmental context of opinion formation and have implications for designing and communicating environmental policies.
Peisker, J. (2023). Context matters: The drivers of environmental concern in European regions. Global Environmental Change, 79. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2023.102636