Do Voters Support Local Commitments for Climate Change Mitigation in Italy?

Martelli, Simone; Janssens-Maenhout, Greet; Paruolo, Paolo; Bréchet, Thierry; Strobl, Eric Albert; Guizzardi, Diego; Cerutti, Alessandro K.; Iancu, Andreea (2018). Do Voters Support Local Commitments for Climate Change Mitigation in Italy? Ecological economics, 144, pp. 27-35. Elsevier 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2017.06.035

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There is a growing interest in voluntary programmes for climate change mitigation, including greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction commitments. This paper gauges evidence on the support of citizens for climate change mitigation programmes at the local level, analysing voting behaviour. A quasi-experimental set-up is offered by the EU Covenant of Mayors (CoM) initiative, which is the mainstream European movement for local authorities voluntarily committing to meet and exceed the European Union 20% GHG emission reduction target by 2020. The electoral impact of the participation of Italian municipalities to the CoM is estimated, using an instrumental variable (IV) approach. Mayors committing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in their municipality appear not to lose electoral support at subsequent elections; this is contrary to what would be implied by a simple (biased) ordinary least squares regression. Moreover, IV point estimates are positive, albeit insignificant at standard levels; this could be due to the possibility of some support of citizens for emission reduction commitments. Finally, strong heterogeneity in socio-economic and demographic characteristics is found, with support of the CoM being more pronounced in wealthier and younger cities.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Department of Economics
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)

UniBE Contributor:

Strobl, Eric Albert


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics








Monika Wälti-Stampfli

Date Deposited:

07 May 2018 15:39

Last Modified:

30 Oct 2019 19:03

Publisher DOI:





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