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Promoting low-carbon behaviors through increased media exposure of carbon peak and carbon neutrality: Low-carbon awareness as a mediator

Lei Xu (Beijing Jiaotong University), Ruyi Zhang (Shandong University), Mingyue Liu, Changlin Han, Hao Liu, Guangxi Hou, and Shuting Li (Qingdao University), 2023, 51(7), e12467


China has pledged to peak carbon emissions before 2030 and to strive to achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. To reveal the downward transfer of these state-level goals to the individual level, we conducted a study based on social cognitive theory and investigated the diffusion effect of media exposure. Specifically, we developed a model linking media exposure of carbon peak and carbon neutrality to citizens’ low-carbon behavior. We tested our model in a survey of 650 citizens in Mainland China. We found that media exposure about the carbon peak and carbon neutrality was positively related to citizens’ low-carbon behavior, and this relationship was mediated by low-carbon awareness. These findings create a connection between media communication and low-carbon behavior and provide the Chinese government with a long-term effective way to reduce residential carbon emissions