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The environment, left-wing political orientation and ecological economics

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  • H Social Sciences (General)
  • Ge Environmental Sciences
  • Ecology
  • Economics
  • Geography
  • Political Science


The objectives of this commentary are twofold. The first is to examine the relationship between a party's position within the left–right political spectrum and its stance on environmental issues, as stated in party manifestos. The second is to examine the relationship between individuals' ideological orientation and pro-environmental beliefs, attitudes and self-reported behavior. Equality, distributional concerns and market skepticism are typically regarded as defining factors of left-wing political orientation. Our results suggest that left-wing parties and individuals are also more pro-environmental than their right-wing counterparts. Ecological economics similarly embraces sustainability, efficient resource allocation and equitable distribution and is skeptical towards the ability of unregulated markets to achieve these objectives. The hypothesis is put forward that ecological economics is more likely to be supported by left-wing parties and individuals.

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