“Save the Climate! Stop the Oil”: Actual Protest Behavior and Core Framing Tasks in the Portuguese Climate Movement


  • Maria Fernandes-Jesus
  • Maria Luísa Lima
  • José-Manuel Sabucedo


In this article, we focus on two demonstrations against climate change that took place in Portugal on the 12th of November 2016 and the 29th of April 2017. Two separate studies were conducted on the same protests. In Study 1, we conducted a quantitative study (N = 259), to examine the role of socio-demographics and socio-psychological predictors in predicting the actual protest. Participants were demonstrators (N = 158), as well as non-demonstrators (N = 101). Results indicated that moral motivation and identification as an environmentalist were the key variables in explaining actual protest. In Study 2, we conducted a framing analysis of the written manifestos (N = 2), to identify the core framing tasks which were used to inspire and legitimize the protests. The framing analysis suggests that the problems and paths for action were described by appealing to the interlinkage between the global and local dimensions of climate change, and that arguments of severity and urgency of the problem were the most salient. The implications of this research are discussed in relation to possible pathways for a more comprehensive understanding of the reasons why people engage in collective action in climate change related issues, and how these motives may relate to how social movements mobilize people for action.