Public Participation in Climate Policy Making: Toward Reconciling Public Preferences and Legal Frameworks

Goda Perlaviciute*, Lorenzo Squintani

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)
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Climate policies require public support. But if people feel excluded from decision making, this can fuel resistance to such policies. Legal frameworks, such as the Aarhus Convention, mandate extensive obligations to engage the public in decision making on local projects, such as renewable energy siting. But such frameworks often
overlook the macro-level decisions that affect local projects. Public influence at a project level may be limited by such macro-level decisions. A solution could be to engage the public earlier in the decision-making chain. But is this what people want? In this Perspective, we present a survey in the Netherlands (n = 1,121) that revealed
that people want to participate most in decision making on local projects—exactly where their influence is most limited due to legal constraints. We propose a cross-disciplinary research agenda for studying how to reconcile legal frameworks and public preferences for participation to reach socially acceptable climate policies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-348
Number of pages8
JournalOne Earth
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 24-Apr-2020


  • climate policy
  • decision-making chain
  • mandated public participation
  • macro-level decisions
  • micro-level decisions
  • procedural fairness
  • public acceptability
  • public participation

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