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Evidence Week 2021: learn from top researchers how we can best tackle the climate crisis

According to research, effectiveness is at the forefront of what the public is looking for when it comes to policies to address climate change | Credit: Alamy

Taylor & Francis

4 min read Partner content

To reach net zero we need policies that achieve public support. This means equipping policy makers with the insights into what their priorities are. We are on a mission to make that happen.

Taylor & Francis, a leading international publisher of scholarly journals, books, eBooks and reference works, is partnering with Sense About Science for Evidence Week 2021, to advocate and support an evidence-based approach to public engagement with climate policy. This is particularly pertinent in the context of COP 26,  bringing together leaders from across the globe to tackle the climate crisis. 

The climate crisis poses catastrophic risks to the environment and people’s livelihoods. To address this crisis, the Paris Agreement commits governments to limiting global temperature rise to2˚C, preferably 1.5˚C.  As its contribution, the UK has enshrined in law the goal of slashing its greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.  However, implementing strong and effective climate policies to achieve this goal cannot be done without broad public support.

Experts from the research community and Taylor & Francis will be addressing how to engage public support in climate policy via Evidence Week 2021 in the UK parliament. Organized by Sense about Science, in partnership with the House of Commons LibraryPOST (the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology) and the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, this event offers the chance for researchers, community groups and parliamentarians to communicate and discuss ideas surrounding science, evidence and policy, helping MPs and civil servants to gain knowledge needed to better scrutinise scientific evidence for policymaking. 

As one of the leading publishers of research in environmental science and policy, our briefing at Evidence Week 2021 addresses the main factors that influence the public acceptance of climate policies. By examining these factors and others, policy makers will develop a better understanding of the extent to which individuals are likely to support or reject particular climate policies, and how concerns could be addressed through policy design and implementation to mitigate and minimise negative impacts. This will better equip policy makers to anticipate public responses at an early stage of the policy-design cycle, thereby helping to overcome potential resistance and maximise effective implementation. 


Our briefing is based upon research findings recently published in the top international journal Climate Policy, exploring how to design effective climate policies and ensure the public stays on board. Our climate research experts include Dr Joanna Depledge from Cambridge Centre for Environment, Energy and Natural Resource Governance who sits on the Editorial Board of the Climate Policy journal, and Dr Sanna Markkanen who is the research programme lead for the Centre for Policy and Industrial Transformation, which hosts the Corporate Leaders Group, a group of progressive businesses that support UK climate leadership. She has carried out extensive analysis of the inequality impacts of climate change mitigation policies.  What are the recommendations from our experts? Some broadly applicable insights include:

  • The public wants to be sure that a policy will be effective in tackling climate change.
  • The public wants a policy to be fair to ensure that low-income or other disadvantaged groups don’t lose out as a result of policy intervention. Individuals who are impacted by cost-of-living increase want to know that big companies and other countries are also taking action.
  • Trust matters. The public is much more likely to accept strong policy – even if costly - if the government is perceived as credible and consistent on the issue in question.
  • To maximise the prospects of public acceptance, policy measures should be accompanied by consistent and positive messaging.  Communicators should make the most of “teachable moments” when the public is likely to be more receptive. COP 26 offers such a window of opportunity.

To arrange a follow-up meeting with our research experts, please visit our briefing page where you can book virtual meetings with us. Alternatively, you can drop into the Evidence Week in person event at Parliament, any time between 2pm - 5pm on Tuesday, 2nd November to have a face-to-face discussion about how our research can help you design and implement more effective climate policies, and more generally about the global and UK response to climate change and the COP 26 climate conference.

For more information about Evidence Week, please visit:

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