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Project: Public Perceptions of Climate Change and Energy Futures in Britain

Solar PanelsThis research will involve a large nationwide quantitative survey (n=2,275 across England, Scotland and Wales) aiming to examine public perceptions of climate change and various energy options.  Funding comes primarily from the Economic and Social Research Council (RES-062-23-1134) but will also be partially funded by the Leverhulme Trust.  This project complements our Leverhulme Trust funded Climate Change and Energy Choices project. 


Nuclear Cooling TowerThis survey will build on a previous survey conducted in 2005 to explore nuclear power and climate change within the Public Risk Perceptions, Climate Change and Reframing of UK Energy Policy project and a survey conducted in 2002 to explore public perceptions regarding five key risks (including nuclear power) within the Public Perceptions of Risk, Science and Governance project.

The survey aims to examine how public perceptions of climate change and energy options have changed since previous evaluations but also has a theoretical goal of examining how framing influences perceptions.  Survey results will provide us with a better understanding of what public perceptions are, as well as how they are structured, how stable these are, and how they may change in the future. Findings will be of significant interest to policy makers, business, environmental groups, and others interested in communicating about climate change.


Related Publications

Pidgeon, N.F., Lorenzoni, I. and Poortinga, W. (2008) Climate change or nuclear power - no thanks! A quantitative study of public perceptions and risk framing in Britain. Global Environmental Change, 18, 69-85. [pdf]

Spence, A., Venables, D., Pidgeon, N., Poortinga, W. and Demski, C. (2010). Public Perceptions of Climate Change and Energy Futures in Britain: Summary Findings of a Survey Conducted in January-March 2010. Technical Report (Understanding Risk Working Paper 10-01). Cardiff: School of Psychology.



Cardiff University
Nick Pidgeon, Wouter Poortinga, Alexa Spence, Dan Venables



ESRCLeverhulme Trust


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