How positive is “change” in climate change? A sentiment analysis

Journal Title
Environmental Science & Policy
Journal Volume
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This paper describes the results of a non-computational sentiment analysis of the word ‘change’ on the subject of climate change, local climate innovation and development path change. Results were obtained from interviews conducted with local government officials in 11 communities across British Columbia: Victoria, Vancouver, Prince George, Dawson Creek, North Vancouver, Campbell River, Revelstoke, Surrey, T’Sou-ke First Nation, West Vancouver, and the Kootenay Regional Districts. The sentiment analysis was undertaken to address the lack of agreement among climate researchers and policy-makers over the meaning of change, and to determine whether changes were actually occurring in their development paths. As a result, several drivers and barriers to change were identified at the local government level. Staff quality and horizontal integration were linked to the most positive sentiments, whereas barriers to behavioral change and the limited pace and scale of change were associated with negative sentiments.