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Social Reactions to the Climate Debate in Germany and Switzerland

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Franzen Axel , Vogl Dominikus ,
Project MOSAiCH 2011
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Analyse und Kritik
Volume (Issue) 32(1)
Page(s) 121 - 135
Title of proceedings Analyse und Kritik
DOI 10.1515/auk-2010-0107

Open Access


In this contribution we take a look at the development of environmental concern and mobility behavior of the population in Germany and Switzerland. The proportion of survey participants who express concern about the state of the natural environment is high in both countries. However, this proportion did not increase during the last two decades despite the ongoing public debate about environmental issues. At the same time the demand for private transportation did increase in Germany by almost 20\% (in Switzerland by 2.5\%). However, fuel consumption per capita decreased in Germany by 6.5\% and in Switzerland by 2.2\%. Our time series analyses of these trends suggest that this reduction is due to the price increase of gasoline which was substantial in both countries and not due to any change in attitudes. We argue that further price increases are appropriate means to reduce fuel consumption. However, our analyses also show that the price elasticity for fuel is low.