Cahiers de l'Institut
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- Date de publication : 2020-05-14
Representations and reasons underlying the actions of former policy makers on climate change
Michel Pigeon, May 2020
In order to understand the reasons for their actions (and in certain cases their lack of action), as well as the representations that underpin them, we interviewed twelve former ministers responsible for environmental issues. These ministers generally see the environment as a concrete issue, mainly of an economic nature, but, both in France and in the province of Quebec, we observed that their room for maneuver is quite narrow. They have all tried to do the best for the protection of the environment and the wellbeing of their fellow citizens, but without disturbing too much their way of life or the established order, and while generally being very aware that the challenges to be met will very soon necessitate much more difficult decisions. Our results indicate that the perceived lack of citizen support for environmental action, particularly as concerns climate change, is one of the main barriers to action by ministers.