People and planet: Values, motivations and formative influences of individuals acting to mitigate climate change

Rachel Angharad Howell, Simon Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This paper presents results from a survey of 344 individuals who engage in climate change mitigation action, contributing to debates about whether it is necessary to promote 'nature experiences' and biospheric values to encourage pro-environmental behaviour. We investigate three factors - values, motivations and formative experiences - that underlie such behaviour, but that usually have been considered in isolation from each other. In contrast to previous studies of environmentalists' significant life experiences, outdoor/nature experiences were not frequently mentioned as being influential. Altruistic concerns about climate change impacts on future human generations and on poorer or more vulnerable people were considered more motivating than other reasons for action. There was no significant difference in how respondents rated altruistic and biospheric values. Variations in responses from those involved in 'biospherically-oriented' organisations (such as traditional environmental or conservation organisations) versus those involved in climate change groups suggest that there are different routes into climate change mitigation action, and our results show that it is not essential to cultivate biospheric values or the love of nature to encourage such action.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-155
Number of pages25
JournalEnvironmental Values
Issue number2
Early online date16 Sept 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • climate change mitigation
  • values
  • motivations
  • formative influences
  • pro-environmental behaviour


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