Climate adaptation and climate mitigation do not undermine each other: A cross-cultural test in four countries

Jan Urban*, Davina Vačkářová, Tomas Badura

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Adaptation and mitigation are both essential components of strategies that aim to decrease risks associated with climate change. A number of existing studies, however, suggest that the two might be negatively affecting each other – climate adaptation might decrease mitigation efforts and vice versa. We have examined these effects in five experimental studies carried out in four countries (total N = 4,800) and have used Bayesian analysis to evaluate the strength of empirical support for such effects. We did not find any evidence that compensation between climate mitigation and adaptation takes place. On the contrary, we found some evidence, albeit rather weak, that prior focus on adaptation measures increases the subsequent tendency to engage in mitigation behavior; this effect is likely to be driven by an increase in worry about the impacts of climate change that results from a prior focus on climate adaptation. If anything, offering adaptation options may increase the tendency to mitigate climate change.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101658
JournalJournal of Environmental Psychology
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We wish to thank two anonymous reviewers for their comments and suggestions, and Cliff McLenehan for his language support. This work was supported by the LIFE Programme of the European Union (project LIFE TreeCheck: Green Infrastructure Minimising the Urban Heat Island Effect, grant No. LIFE17 GIC/CZ/000107 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd


  • Attitude
  • Climate adaptation
  • Climate mitigation
  • Compensatory effect
  • Global climate change
  • Moral licensing
  • the Campbell Paradigm


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