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Why do citizens engage in climate action? A comprehensive framework of individual conditions and a proposed research approach

Why do citizens engage in climate action? A comprehensive framework of individual conditions and... According to many policy makers and scientists, citizen‐led initiatives such as community renewable energy initiatives, have the potential to contribute to the transformation towards a sustainable and carbon neutral society. Citizens can co‐produce public services together, such as clean energy provision for themselves and their communities. Despite this proclaimed potential, actual citizen engagement in climate action is still low. Moreover, there is a limited holistic and systematic understanding of what drives citizens to jointly co‐produce a climate service, as relevant insights are scattered over different bodies of literature. This article contributes to filling this knowledge gap by proposing a novel, comprehensive framework with which the individual conditions under which citizens are willing, able and feel responsible to co‐produce a climate service can be systematically explored. This so‐called motivation‐capacity‐ownership (MCO) framework integrates eight relevant conditions under three dimensions: Motivational, capacity‐related, and ownership‐related conditions. Based on a literature review, the eight conditions are elaborated upon for community renewable energy initiatives. It is argued that all eight conditions matter, but that their weight may vary depending on the different policy and institutional contexts, and that therefore different combinations of the eight conditions may determine whether a citizen participates in an initiative. Researchers are invited to test the validity of the framework for different types of community renewable energy initiatives in different institutional and geographical contexts, for which a research approach is proposed. In light of the rise of citizen initiatives for all kinds of sustainability issues, the framework could also be tested for enhancing its validity and refinement for citizen‐led sustainability initiatives more broadly. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Environmental Policy and Governance Wiley

Why do citizens engage in climate action? A comprehensive framework of individual conditions and a proposed research approach

12 pages

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References (88)

Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
© 2022 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment
ISSN
1756-932X
eISSN
1756-9338
DOI
10.1002/eet.1981
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

According to many policy makers and scientists, citizen‐led initiatives such as community renewable energy initiatives, have the potential to contribute to the transformation towards a sustainable and carbon neutral society. Citizens can co‐produce public services together, such as clean energy provision for themselves and their communities. Despite this proclaimed potential, actual citizen engagement in climate action is still low. Moreover, there is a limited holistic and systematic understanding of what drives citizens to jointly co‐produce a climate service, as relevant insights are scattered over different bodies of literature. This article contributes to filling this knowledge gap by proposing a novel, comprehensive framework with which the individual conditions under which citizens are willing, able and feel responsible to co‐produce a climate service can be systematically explored. This so‐called motivation‐capacity‐ownership (MCO) framework integrates eight relevant conditions under three dimensions: Motivational, capacity‐related, and ownership‐related conditions. Based on a literature review, the eight conditions are elaborated upon for community renewable energy initiatives. It is argued that all eight conditions matter, but that their weight may vary depending on the different policy and institutional contexts, and that therefore different combinations of the eight conditions may determine whether a citizen participates in an initiative. Researchers are invited to test the validity of the framework for different types of community renewable energy initiatives in different institutional and geographical contexts, for which a research approach is proposed. In light of the rise of citizen initiatives for all kinds of sustainability issues, the framework could also be tested for enhancing its validity and refinement for citizen‐led sustainability initiatives more broadly.

Journal

Environmental Policy and GovernanceWiley

Published: Jun 1, 2022

Keywords: citizen initiatives; community renewable energy; comprehensive and integrated framework; individual conditions; motivational factors

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