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Environmental Values

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Environmental Values

People and Planet: Values, Motivations and Formative Influences of Individuals Acting to Mitigate Climate Change

Rachel Howell, Simon Allen

Environmental Values 26 (2017): 131-155. doi: 10.3197/096327117X14847335385436

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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.


Climate change mitigation, values, motivations, formative influences, pro-environmental behaviour

REFERENCES to other articles in Environmental Values:

'It Helped Me Sort of Face the End of the World': The Role of Emotions for Third Sector Climate Change Engagement Initiatives. Milena Büchs, Emma Hinton and Graham Smith

Social Practice and the Evolution of Personal Environmental Values. Sarah Hards

Exploring the Relationship Between Values and Pro-Environmental Behaviour: The Influence of Locus of Control. Anna-Karin Engqvist Jonsson and Andreas Nilsson

Why Do Young People Participate in Environmental Political Action? Riikaka Paloniemi and Annukka Vainio

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles

Editorial: Knowledge, Expertise and Engagement. Stewart Barr

Who Should Pay for Climate Adaptation? Public Attitudes and the Financing of Flood Protection in Florida. Samuel Merrill, Jack Kartez, Karen Langbehn, Frank Muller-Karger, Catherine J. Reynolds

Spatial Framing, Existing Associations and Climate Change Beliefs. Adrian Brügger, Nicholas F. Pidgeon

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