Winners or losers? Perceptions of climate change and related policies in Latvian society

Vineta Kleinberga, Elīna Smetaņina, Katrīna Laura Tkačenko, Santa Kliedere

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Climate change mitigation and adaptation cannot be fully effective without engagement of society. Therefore, governments devote substantial human and financial resources to communicate political goals to the public. However, the effects of communication can hardly be controlled by governments as people perceive things differently. Informed by the strategic narrative conceptual framework, which underlines the importance of perception in the persuasive power of strategic narratives, this study explores the reception of governments’ communication on climate change in Latvian society. Applying a method of qualitative content analysis to the analysis of websites of 32 organisations representing Latvian society in the period from January 1, 2020, till December 31, 2021, the study aims to uncover the level of alignment of societal narratives on climate change with the official political narrative. The findings demonstrate that climate change related policies attract an increasing attention in Latvian society, yet narratives are fragmented and contest the official endeavours. Narratives recognise reality and threat of climate change, as well as need for an ambitious EU climate policy. A narrative of corporate social responsibility develops in business-oriented organisations. However, many organisations remain sceptical about government’s abilities and intentions to implement climate-friendly policies. They underline the costs of the European Green Deal for Latvian economy and society, necessity to find a balance between environmental, economic and social goals, as well as lack of transparency and inclusion in determining Latvia’s climate goals. Frequently a link is missing in the narratives between the discussed policy measures and climate change. Nevertheless, climate scepticism or denial is not observed in the narratives of Latvian society. This study implies that narratives predict action, therefore analysis of perception side of the official political narratives provides both the scientists and the policy-makers with the knowledge on obstacles the transition to climate neutrality might face.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2023
EventRSU Research week 2023: PLACES - Riga Stradiņš university, Rīga, Latvia
Duration: 29 Mar 202331 Mar 2023
Conference number: 3


ConferenceRSU Research week 2023: PLACES
Abbreviated titleRW2023
OtherRīga Stradiņš University 3rd International Interdisciplinary Conference PLACES
Internet address


  • strategic narrative
  • alignment
  • climate policy
  • public engagement
  • European green deal

Field of Science*

  • 5.6 Political science

Publication Type*

  • 3.4. Other publications in conference proceedings (including local)


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