Give citizens a task: An innovative tool to compose policy bundles that reach the climate goal

Reinhard Hössinger, Stefanie Peer, Maria Juschten*

*Corresponding author for this work

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review


We analyse the preferences of citizens with respect to climate policies in the transport sector. More specifically, we examine the citizens' preference for mixing different policies, the preferences for and determinants of different types of policy bundles, as well as the CO2 reduction achieved with these bundles. To this end, we developed an innovative evaluation tool, in which respondents could mix 11 different policies at various intensity levels according to their preferences with the (non-binding) goal to reduce CO2 emissions of passenger transport in Austria from currently 13.19 to 4.22 mill. tons/year. Respondents interactively received detailed information on ecological, financial and social effects of their policy selection, and could adjust their choice accordingly. We find that respondents display a widespread aversion against highly restrictive policies, but a preference for broad and well-balanced bundles between pull and push and also between different push policies. With these broad bundles, almost 60% of respondents met the ambitious climate goal. We speculate that this surprisingly high level of ambition may be driven by putting citizens into the role of a task solver (achieve the climate goal) instead of a mere choice maker of policies. Our analysis suggests that car affinity (strongly confounded with urban/non-urban residence), self-concern, political trust, the importance of solidarity and fairness, and (most of all) the climate concern determine the participants’ selection (or rejection) of effective policy bundles. The paper provides relevant insights for policymakers, both regarding participatory decision-making tools and acceptable policy bundles.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103694
JournalTransportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We (the authors) gratefully thank the Austrian Climate and Energy Fund for funding the research project “aPPRAISE (Participatory Value Evaluation: a novel assessment process for transport policies aiming at climate change mitigation)” under the 11th Call of the Austrian Climate Research Programme (ACRP) [grant number KR18AC0K14682].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s)


  • Climate change
  • Discrete choice modeling (DCM)
  • Participatory value evaluation (PVE)
  • Policy acceptance
  • Structural equation modeling (SEM)
  • Transport policy packages

Cite this