What effect does extreme weather have on climate policy? Existing studies show that weather shocks have negative economic impacts and increase public awareness of climate change. These findings help identify the impacts of climate change on economic and social systems, and provide reasons for governments to adopt climate policy reforms. However, questions remain about the overall link between local extreme weather shocks and government climate policy. I investigate the effect of temperature shocks and natural disasters on a range of national, international, and subnational climate policies in samples spanning 1990–2018. I find that neither temperature shocks nor natural disasters generate climate mitigation reforms. Given that climate policy is currently insufficient to manage climate change and climate impacts are expected to increase this century, these findings suggest that future climate shocks are unlikely to catalyze meaningful climate action.
Rowan, S. (2022) "Extreme weather and climate policy", Environmental Politics.