Many policies currently being enacted to slow climate change and environmental degradation will have distributive - and thereby political - implications. Economic policy instruments such as carbon taxes and fees tend to be regressive, as they weight more heavily on the poor who spend a larger share of their budgets on energy, transport, and so forth. Without an ambitious redistributive social agenda, countries may be caught in a vicious cycle of green policy adjustments, increased inequalities, and an erosion of political support. In order to avoid such damaging policy dynamics, more research is needed to understand the interplay between different policy areas and the resulting distribute and political effects.

The purpose of the PANDORA project is to analyze the interplay between ‘new’ climate policies and ‘old’ social policies in a comparative perspective, focusing on the distributional outcomes and political effects that they together generate. The project makes three key contributions. First, we develop a new methodology for estimating individual-level distributional effects of carbon policies under different social policy settings. Second, using a combination of policy and poll-of-polls data we device a novel analytical approach for estimating the effects of policy on political support. Third, we generate new systematic knowledge on how ‘new’ carbon policies can be buffered by preexisting welfare state policies.

Contact: Andreas Duit