Increasing public support for climate policy proposals: a research agenda on governable acceptability factors

Addressing climate change demands a varied policy toolkit, ranging from supportive measures to more assertive interventions. However, the latter, especially when impacting consumers’ daily lives, often face public opposition. Current research mainly investigates personal or country-level characteristics and personal perceptions that are beyond the direct influence of policymakers, offering limited insight into enhancing the acceptability of specific policy instruments within a given societal context. Acceptability factors that policy-makers can directly influence have received less attention and mostly in single-case or single-factor studies. This perspective article critiques the current state of knowledge and calls for a surge in research on ‘governable acceptability factors’. It introduces them as a key category for future research, proposes a definition, and outlines research needs and questions concerning four sub-categories of such factors: policy instrument characteristics, temporal aspects, actor involvement, and communication.