Climate policy has distributional effects, and ratcheting up climate ambition will only become politically feasible if the general public believes that their country can win from ambitious climate action. In this article, we develop a theory of belief formation that anchors distributional effects from climate action at the sector level. Specifically, we study how knowing about these impacts shapes public beliefs about collective economic consequences from climate policy—not only in a home country but also abroad. A nationally representative survey experiment in the United Kingdom demonstrates that respondents are biased toward their home country in assessing information about winning and losing sectors: while beliefs brighten for good news and worsen for bad news when the home country is involved, distributional effects from abroad are discounted for belief formation. We also show that feelings of “international embeddedness,” akin to globalization attitudes, make UK respondents consistently hold more positive beliefs that the country can benefit from ambitious climate action. Ruling out several alternative explanations, these results offer a first step toward a better understanding of how distributional effects in one issue area, such as globalization, can spill over to other issue areas, such as climate change.

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