To what extent are the rural households’ carbon capable? Evidence from a survey at Jianghan Plain, central China

Guan, X.
Ma, Wanglin
Zhang, J.
Conference Contribution - published
Fields of Research
The reduction of agricultural greenhouse gas emissions relies on farmers’ active involvement in mitigation actions. However, little research has focused on farmers’ capability of engaging with climate change mitigation. In this study, we delineated an actor-centered, capability-based, and multi-dimensional framework of farmers’ carbon capability to elucidate the aspects in and extent to which farmers are equipped to engage in climate change mitigation. This framework comprised farmers’ internal driving capability, cognitive capability, behavioral control capability, behavioral level capability (including behavioral capabilities of farming and socializing), and influence capability. A structural equation model combined with survey data collected from 852 farmers in China was used to explore the structural relationships between the carbon capability constructs. The findings indicated that farmers’ intrapsychic constructs were pro-environmental, and their cognitive knowledge about pro-climate farming practices was moderate. However, the performance of pro-climate farming was largely not under farmers’ behavioral control. Farmers generally had a weak tendency to perform stable pro-climate farming behaviors, while they were slightly more inclined to behave pro-environmentally in social interactions. Furthermore, they only had a slight influence on peer farmers’ mitigative responses to climate change. In addition, farmers’ behavioral control capability emerged as the strongest predictor of the behavioral capability of farming, which, in turn, was an essential prerequisite for both the behavioral capability of socializing and influence capability. Improved understanding of farmers’ carbon capability has important strategic implications for policymakers seeking to reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions.
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© 2018 by Xiaoliang Guan, Wanglin Ma and Junbiao Zhang. All rights reserved. Readers may make verbatim copies of this document for non-commercial purposes by any means, provided that this copyright notice appears on all such copies.
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