Public Opinion on Carbon Pricing: Examination of Frameworks that Shape Opinion
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This paper investigates how carbon pricing frameworks impact carbon pricing perceptions by asking York University students to complete an online questionnaire. The questionnaire asked participants to choose between five carbon tax policies with various frameworks. Languages, narratives, and rhetorics were used to create different frameworks and resulted in various perceptions of the similar carbon tax policy. The results showed that participants favored a carbon tax framework that provides a lot of information and includes sustainable or technological solutions. An emphasis on human health was also highly valued by participants. The study found that the majority of the participants in the study self-identify as left-leaning to middle in the political spectrum. The study can ultimately inform how policy is presented to this demographic, since policy makers should consider policy frameworks that include the values of voters. For instance, the findings of this study suggest a correlation between formal education on climate change and support for carbon pricing policy. Thus, policy makers should also consider reliable and accessible educational outlets to generate voter support. This can lead to a better understanding of carbon tax, its strengths, and how it reduces emissions. Ultimately, carbon tax frameworks can be as important as the policy itself; an efficient policy can have minimal support if it is not appealing to voters.