Voluntary climate change mitigation actions of young adults: A classification of mitigators through latent class analysis

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Abstract

Encouraging individuals to take action is important for the overall success of climate change mitigation. Campaigns promoting climate change mitigation could address particular groups of the population on the basis of what kind of mitigation actions the group is already taking. To increase the knowledge of such groups performing similar mitigation actions we conducted a population-based cross-sectional study in Finland. The study population comprised 1623 young adults who returned a self-administered questionnaire (response rate 64%). Our aims were to identify groups of people engaged in similar climate change mitigation actions and to study the gender differences in the grouping. We also determined if socio-demographic characteristics can predict group membership. We performed latent class analysis using 14 mitigation actions as manifest variables. Three classes were identified among men: the Inactive (26%), the Semi-active (63%) and the Active (11%) and two classes among women: the Semi-active (72%) and the Active (28%). The Active among both genders were likely to have mitigated climate change through several actions, such as recycling, using environmentally friendly products, preferring public transport, and conserving energy. The Semi-Active had most probably recycled and preferred public transport because of climate change. The Inactive, a class identified among men only, had very probably done nothing to mitigate climate change. Among males, being single or divorced predicted little involvement in climate change mitigation. Among females, those without tertiary degree and those with annual income €≥16801 were less involved in climate change mitigation. Our results illustrate to what extent young adults are engaged in climate change mitigation, which factors predict little involvement in mitigation and give insight to which segments of the public could be the audiences of targeted mitigation campaigns. Copyright: © 2014 Korkala et al.

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Korkala, E. A. E., Hugg, T. T., & Jaakkola, J. J. K. (2014). Voluntary climate change mitigation actions of young adults: A classification of mitigators through latent class analysis. PLoS ONE, 9(7). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0102072

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