Awareness and willingness to engage in climate change adaptation and mitigation: Results from a survey of Mediterranean islanders (Lesvos, Greece)

Polina N. Tourlioti, Michelle E. Portman, Ioannis Pantelakis, Ourania Tzoraki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Climate change has recently received a lot of media attention as a serious phenomenon; as a result of witnessing losses in lives and property, people are becoming increasingly aware of its effects. If climate change issues are misunderstood, people may be less likely to participate in adaptation and mitigation efforts and in the co-production of climate services. This paper contributes to the field of perception studies by providing a case study that could advise local policymaking. Residents of the Greek coastal city of Mytilene (Lesvos Island) were questioned about their opinions on climate change issues. According to the study's findings, respondents recognize the existence of climate change and are likely to take actions to address it. They also acknowledge that various anthropogenic causes, activities, and uses contribute to climate change (i.e., greenhouse gasses, pollution, and transportation). Most participants associate climate change with global warming and sea level rise/coastal erosion, whereas at a local level, they associate it primarily with weather-related phenomena. They are more likely to rely on formal institutions to address climate change challenges but are skeptical of management outcomes. The majority of respondents appear to be positive about making lifestyle changes, and half are willing to pay for mitigation/adaptation measures, primarily to ensure environmental protection and intragenerational justice. Because respondents appear to be unaware of their critical role, authorities must invest in a continuous effort of empowering and engaging them in both adaptation and mitigation practices and include them in the co-production of locally oriented climate services.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100427
JournalClimate Services
StatePublished - Jan 2024


  • Awareness
  • Climate change perceptions
  • Engagement
  • Governance
  • Public participation

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Atmospheric Science


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