Public engagement with climate change: the role of human values

Authors

  • Adam Corner,

    Corresponding author
    1. Understanding Risk Research Group, Tyndall Centre and Climate Change Consortium of Wales, School of Psychology, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK
    2. Climate Outreach & Information Network (COIN), Oxford, UK
    3. Trustee of the Public Interest Research Centre (PIRC), Plas Dr, Machynlleth, Powys SY20 8ER, UK
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  • Ezra Markowitz,

    1. Earth Institute & Center for Research on Environmental Decisions, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA
    2. Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA
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  • Nick Pidgeon

    1. Understanding Risk Research Group, Tyndall Centre and Climate Change Consortium of Wales, School of Psychology, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK
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Abstract

A long history of interdisciplinary research highlights the powerful role that human values play in shaping individuals' engagement with environmental issues. That certain values are supportive of proenvironmental orientation and behavior is now well established. But as the challenge of communicating the risks of climate change has grown increasingly urgent, there has been a rise in interest around how values shape public engagement with this issue. In the current paper, we review the growing body of work that explores the role of human values (and the closely related concept of cultural worldviews) in public engagement with climate change. Following a brief conceptual overview of values and their relationship to environmental engagement in general, we then provide a review of the literature linking value-orientations and engagement with climate change. We also review both academic and ‘gray’ literature from civil society organizations that has focused on how public messages about climate change should be framed, and discuss the significance of research on human values for climate change communication strategies.

For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website.

Conflict of interest: The authors have declared no conflicts of interest for this article.

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