Climate change risk perception across nations: is a decade enough to be prepared

Aistė Balžekienė looks into attitudes, perceptions and behavioral patterns related to climate change in international comparative perspective.

Failure of climate change adaptation and mitigation is indicated as one of the major global risks in the Global Risk report by World Economic Forum in 2018. Moreover, UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in latest 1.5˚C report warns that there is only decade left to implement global emission goals and this goal need major societal changes. Yet, there are countries in the world, where more than half of population have never heard about climate change.  How can public respond and adopt to climate change in the face of ignorance and inaction.

This keynote will look into attitudes, perceptions, behavioral patterns related to climate change in international comparative perspective; will discuss the dynamics of these patterns over time, will identify regional differences in climate change risk perceptions in global level, and more specifically – in Nordic – Baltic region.

Main question to be addressed in the keynote: what societal transformations are needed to be prepared for coming changes and what are main obstacles at public level that may lead to the failure of climate change adaptation?

Aistė Balžekienė, Phd, is the head of Civil Society and Sustainability research group and associate professor in sociology in Faculty of Social sciences, arts and humanities at Kaunas university of Technology.

She is also currently a chair of research network "Sociology of Risk and Uncertainty" of European Sociological Association (ESA) and board member of society for Risk analysis (SRA) Nordic chapter. She was leading and participates in projects on environmental compensation practices, climate change risk perceptions, risk and security governance.

Her research interests are comparative research on risk perception and risk discourses, social aspects of technological and environmental risks, social research methodology.

Keynote Wednesday 27 March at 8.30 am – in English