Hope for the future and willingness to pay for sustainable energy

E Pleeging, Job van Exel, Martijn Burger, Spyridon Stavropoulos

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In this study, we examine whether Willingness To Pay (WTP) for green energy is related to hope and several attitudes towards climate change, namely, denial, worry and level of understanding. Using cross-sectional data comprising answers from 905 respondents from the Netherlands, we find that people who are more generally hopeful are willing to pay more for green energy, but only if this hope is not based on denial of the severity of the issue. In addition, we find that WTP is associated with understanding and worry, and that these attitudes are even more closely related to WTP if they are accompanied by hope. Hope based on denial however strengthens the negative relation of a lack of worry and understanding with WTP. These findings highlight the importance of fostering realistic hopes regarding climate change to encourage sustainable behaviour, and could help to frame sustainability policies and measures in a way that maximizes people's willingness to support and contribute to investments in climate change mitigation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106900
JournalEcological Economics
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021

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© 2020

Research programs

  • ESE - AE


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