Absract: This paper analyses the multiple relations existing between public opinion, public policies and global climate change from the perspective of environmental sociology. The framework for this research is the problem of environmental scale in the mitigation and adaptation of environmental problems. The case study was conducted in Andalusia, Spain; a southern European region where the impact of climate change is taking on increasing relevance due to the far-reaching effects that variations in precipitation, temperature change and desertification have had and will have on the area. Environmental policy and politics in relation to global climate change are analysed, as well as citizens’ attitudes and the main politics of adaptation on a regional scale. The contribution of this paper is that in these southern areas of Europe, citizens give priority to local and regional policies only in reference to the problems of ‘their’ climate change like soil erosion, precipitation changes or forest fires, but not in terms of global issues which are more difficult for people to identify such as the destruction of the ozone layer, polar icemelt, deforestation or the emission of greenhouse gases, amongst others.

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