The climate change literacy of public officials in Taiwan: implications and strategies for global adaptation

Shin-Cheng Yeh*, Yan-Hua Chen, Ronald van Velzen, Pei-Hsuan Lin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Climate change literacy (CCL) is recognized as a critical component in formulating and implementing effective climate change policies and actions. However, the degree of CCL among those entrusted with these very responsibilities – public officials, remains relatively unexplored. This study pioneers an investigation into the CCL of public officials in Taiwan through a national survey. Our findings indicate that while a majority of these officials are cognizant of climate change issues, their personal commitment to climate action leaves considerable room for growth. Furthermore, their general understanding of climate change, its impacts, and the necessary adaptation strategies is found wanting. A similar deficit is observed in their comprehension of the relevance of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to climate change. Our study, by establishing a framework for assessing CCL among public officials and providing preliminary data on the CCL of Taiwanese officials, not only fills a significant knowledge gap but also lays the groundwork for comparative studies across nations. Moreover, our findings underscore the need for governments to invest in enhancing the CCL of their personnel, thereby equipping them with the requisite knowledge and motivation to contribute effectively to global climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-34
JournalPolicy Studies
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Jan 2024

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