Climate change perception and adaptation of residents in Hong Kong

Tsz Hin Anson MA, Kwan Lam Gwendolyn WONG, Ting On Lewis CHEUNG, Alex Y. LO, Chi Yung JIM

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Climate change has induced increasingly alarming impacts on urban environment. Adaptation is one of the most common measures to mitigate the impacts and reduce vulnerability. This study explored the individual adaptation from a cognitive and psychological perspective that has rarely been adopted. The current study aims to measure the risk perception (RP) and perceived adaptive capacity (PAC) of individuals and explore the relationships of the two factors with the attitude and behavior on sustainable adaptation. Some 483 successful questionnaire samples were collected through telephone surveys in Hong Kong. Our major findings include: (1) the inconsistent results from regression analysis of PAC as a single construct and results from factors of PAC obtained from exploratory factor analysis; (2) higher level of PAC in terms of “Mental flexibility, knowledge and interest in global warming” promotes sustainable attitude on adaptation and frequency of use of electrical fan; (3) sustainable attitude of individuals is weaker when they perceive a high effectiveness in their adaptive action and availability of resource; and (4) individuals demonstrating higher level of risk perception uses air-conditioners more frequently. The results showed that some individuals might express maladaptations which may potentially lead to a deterioration of overall public adaptation and long-term sustainability in the society. Such an aberrant response would imply a need for education on concepts of risk and sustainability on climate change adaptation to rectify the misconception. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Article number125123
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Early online date13 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2021


Ma, A. T. H., Wong, G. K. L., Cheung, L. T. O., Lo, A. Y., & Jim, C. Y. (2021). Climate change perception and adaptation of residents in Hong Kong. Journal of Cleaner Production, 288. Retrieved from


  • Climate change
  • Individual adaptation
  • Sustainable adaptation
  • Risk perception
  • Perceived adaptive capacity
  • Maladaptation


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