Environmental values and identities at the personal and group level

Elsevier, Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 42, December 2021
Authors: 
Bouman T., van der Werff E., Perlaviciute G., Steg L.

Environmental values and identities, at the personal and group level, motivate individuals’ climate actions. Many individuals report having strong environmental values and self-identities, and thus appear personally motivated to support and take climate action. To achieve society-wide climate action, we argue that it is critical to fully use this personal motivational base for climate action by, for instance, emphasizing the environmental benefits of climate actions and reminding people of their past pro-environmental actions. Individuals’ perceptions of others’ endorsement of environmental values are, however, more negative, which may inhibit consistent climate action. Making people aware that others also strongly value the environment could be a critical strategy to motivate climate action, particularly for individuals that are not strongly personally motivated.