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Anthropogenic climate change: how to understand the weak links between scientific evidence, public perception, and low-carbon practices

Authors Engels A

Received 23 July 2015

Accepted for publication 2 December 2015

Published 25 January 2016 Volume 2016:4 Pages 17—26


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Adolfo Perujo

Anita Engels

Centre for Globalisation and Governance, Hamburg University, Hamburg, Germany

Abstract: This review article presents an overview of recent literature on: the scientific consensus about the attribution of climate change to anthropogenic sources; successes and failures to create a global policy regime to lower worldwide carbon emissions; recent developments in the public perception of climate change and associated risks; and the persistence of highly carbon-intensive practices in spite of scientific evidence on the attribution of climate change to anthropogenic causes. Holistic approaches to understanding patterns of consumption, focusing on ensembles of social practices, may explain this persistence, however, such approaches are still in their infancy with regard to developing proactive ideas for policies to promote low-carbon practices more effectively.

Keywords: climate science, climate policies, social practices, skepticism, low-carbon development

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