Prioritising climate change actions post COVID-19 amongst university students; a Q methodology perspective in the United Arab Emirates

Takshe, Aseel A.; Lovett, Jon C.; Stenner, Paul; Contu, Davide and Weber, Noelia (2022). Prioritising climate change actions post COVID-19 amongst university students; a Q methodology perspective in the United Arab Emirates. International Journal of Global Warming, 26(1) pp. 120–139.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1504/IJGW.2022.10043632

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic caused strict regulations to lower transmission rates. Industries were shut down, people were in lockdown, and travel was curtailed. Restrictions were in effect for an enough period for people’s behaviour to change. For example, online meetings rather than needing to travel. This opens the possibility for alterations to the perception that it is possible to commit to effective climate change actions. A Q methodology study was conducted to analyse how 33 university environmental students across the United Arab Emirates perceive the importance of prioritising climate change actions post-pandemic. Statistical analysis yielded four discourses. The first emphasises the need to learn lessons about climate sustainability and sustain them post-pandemic. The second, more pessimistic but advocates preventing a return to pre-pandemic norms by implementing post-pandemic climate change regulations. The third expects economic recovery to take priority over reducing emissions. The fourth raises opportunities and challenges for environmental sustainability post-COVID-19.

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