Moral hazards and solar radiation management: Evidence from a large-scale online experiment

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Schoenegger, Philipp
Mintz-Woo, Kian
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Elsevier Ltd.
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Solar radiation management (SRM) may help to reduce the negative outcomes of climate change by minimising or reversing global warming. However, many express the worry that SRM may pose a moral hazard, i.e., that information about SRM may lead to a reduction in climate change mitigation efforts. In this paper, we report a large-scale preregistered, money-incentivised, online experiment with a representative US sample (N = 2284). We compare actual behaviour (donations to climate change charities and clicks on climate change petition links) as well as stated preferences (support for a carbon tax and self-reported intentions to reduce emissions) between participants who receive information about SRM with two control groups (a salience control that includes information about climate change generally and a content control that includes information about a different topic). Behavioural choices are made with an earned real-money endowment, and stated preference responses are incentivised via the Bayesian Truth Serum. We fail to find a significant impact of receiving information about SRM and, based on equivalence tests, we provide evidence in favour of the absence of a meaningfully large effect. Our results thus provide evidence for the claim that there is no detectable moral hazard with respect to SRM.
Climate ethics , Climate justice , Environmental psychology , Geoengineering , Moral hazard , Moral psychology , Solar radiation management
Schoenegger, P. and Mintz-Woo, K. (2024) 'Moral hazards and solar radiation management: Evidence from a large-scale online experiment', Journal of Environmental Psychology, 102288 (11pp).
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