Trust in the municipalities and willingness to participate and covid-19
Moolenbroek, M.C. van
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The execution of the energy transition to sustainable resources in the Netherlands should result in a decrease in carbon dioxide emission of 49% in the year 2030 compared to 1990. The Dutch government has decided that municipality governments should play a key role in the execution of the transition. According to existing literature trust in the government plays a key role in the willingness to participate in the proposed plan from this government (O’connor, 1999). The research of O’connor (1999) and other research provide grounds to assume a positive relation between trust in the government and willingness to participate in the energy transition. This current research will explore this relationship on a municipality level government, where research is lacking. Another subject of this research is the mediating effect of the covid-19 pandemic on the level of trust in the municipality. Surveys were done by students of the Utrecht University in 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 resulted in 607 respondents of which 446 have been used in the analysis. These show that there is a significant effect of the level of trust in the municipalities on the willingness to participate in the energy transition, following regression analysis. Furthermore the 2019/2020 respondents had a significantly higher mean level of trust in the municipality compared to the 2020/2021 respondents. However, the generalisability of the results and the comparability of the different municipalities in this research are limited because of the use of secondary data.