25 June 2020

Climate change, voting behavior and family policies

IIASA researcher Jonas Peisker is presenting new demographic research at a webinar series organized by the European Association for Population Studies.

Padova Italy © александр макаренко | Dreamstime.com

Padova Italy © александр макаренко | Dreamstime.com

European Population Conference (EPC) is the largest European conference for population research. This year the conference in Padova, Italy had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, the European Association for Population Studies (EAPS) is organizing a series of EPC 2020 webinars. They aim to showcase materials from the cancelled European Population Conference and connect the population research community in times when large conferences cannot be organized.

IIASA researchers from the Risk and Resilience Program (RISK) and World Population Program (POP) will be represented with latest research during Session 3: Climate Change, Voting Behaviour and Family Policies: What role do demographic changes play?, on Thursday, June 25, 13:00 - 14:00 CEST. Jonas Peisker (RISK) will give a presentation titled "Changing Climate, Changing Party: Exploring Demographic and Environmental Factors Underlying Voting for Green Parties in European Parliamentary Election, 1994 to 2019", research that he conducted together with colleagues from IIASA, the Vienna Institute of Demography of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and Bocconi University.

The Beyond EPC 2020 webinars are free of charge but registration for each event is required. For more information to please visit the EAPS website.


Changing Climate, Changing Party: Exploring Demographic and Environmental Factors Underlying Voting for Green Parties in European Parliamentary Election, 1994 to 2019

Roman Hoffmann, Raya Muttarak, Jonas Peisker, Piero Stanig

Thursday, June 25, 13:00 - 14:00 CEST, Registration

Given the urgency of tackling climate change, public support for climate policies are fundamental to policy action. Voting behaviour reflects voter demand for alternative political priorities. This study exploits a newly constructed municipal-level dataset of European Parliament election results in 11 western European countries from 1994 to 2019 to explain the dramatic surge in public support for Green parties, especially in the latest election. We combine demographic and socioeconomic data, mainly obtained from the Eurostat regional statistics, with floods and climate data obtained from the European Environmental Agency and the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia (CRU-TS 3.25) at NUTS3 level (Nomenclature of territorial units for statistics). We estimate models for the percentage of the vote received by the Green parties in each European parliamentary election in NUTS 3 regions. Based on the demographic metabolism theory, we expect that changes in demographic composition whereby older and less educated generations are replaced by younger and more educated cohorts who are embedded in post-materialist value partially explain these changes. Meanwhile, we expect that experiences of natural disasters and extreme weather events trigger support for green parties. Extant evidence documents that local warming effect and natural disaster experience influence belief in global warming and concern about climate change. Given that the occurrence of an extreme natural event is plausibly exogenous with respect to voting behaviour, we can estimate reduced form (intention to treat) causal effects of climate-change related events on support for Green parties.

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Last edited: 24 June 2020


Jonas Peisker

Researcher Equity and Justice Research Group - Population and Just Societies Program

Raya Muttarak

Principal Research Scholar Migration and Sustainable Development Research Group - Population and Just Societies Program

Research at IIASA's World Population Program

Research at IIASA's Risk and Resilience Program


Beyond EPC 2020

The webinar series

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313