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The UK summer heatwave of 2018 and public concern over energy security

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The UK summer heatwave of 2018 led to changes in consumer behaviour, including large increases in electricity demand due to increased use and intensity of refrigeration and air-condition devices (1, 2). While the UK experienced its equal hottest summer on record, the extreme temperatures were concentrated in the south and east of England (3). We exploit the regional variation to test for the effect of experiencing extreme temperatures on resource security perceptions and related pro-environmental behaviour. We analyse data from 2,189 individuals across the UK over a seven-day period and employ a difference-in-differences type estimation to compare individuals’ responses in regions subjected to extreme temperatures with individuals’ responses in regions that were not subjected to extreme temperatures (4). We show evidence that suggests exposure to extreme temperatures had a large and statistically significant effect on perceptions of energy security but not on stated pro-environmental behaviour. We find less evidence that extreme temperatures had an effect on perceptions of food and water security.



38 Economics, 3801 Applied Economics, 7 Affordable and Clean Energy

Journal Title

Nature Climate Change

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/N005600/1)
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/N005961/1)
This work was supported by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) (grant numbers EP/N005961/1 and EP/N0050600/1) and the Department of Politics and Public Administration at the University of Hong Kong (research account 293010000).