The impact of religious faith on attitudes to environmental issues and Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technologies: A mixed methods study

Aimie L.B. Hope, Christopher R. Jones

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An exploratory mixed methods study was conducted to investigate potential differences in the pro-environmental values and beliefs of people from the UK Christian, Muslim and secular (non-religious) communities. The study explored how religion might shape perspectives on themes within the New Ecological Paradigm (NEP) scale, including the relationship between humans and the environment (Dunlap, Kent, Mertig, & Jones, 2000). This study also explored how religious beliefs and values might influence perspectives on: (a) climate change; and (b) the acceptability of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technologies. Muslim and Christian participants' opinions about climate change and CCS technologies were shaped by the importance of environmental stewardship and intergenerational justice. Both groups had relatively low perceptions of urgency for environmental issues, particularly climate change, due to beliefs in an afterlife and divine intervention. Acceptance of CCS for Muslim participants was considered problematic due to teachings on stewardship, harmony values and the intrinsic value of nature. CCS was considered less problematic for Christian participants, who demonstrated anthropocentric values and evaluated environmental issues and technological solutions in relation to the extent to which they supported human welfare. Secular participants expressed anxiety in relation to environmental issues, especially climate change. Lack of belief in an afterlife or divine intervention led secular participants to focus on human responsibility and the need for action, bolstering the perceived necessity of a range of technologies including CCS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-59
Number of pages12
JournalTechnology in Society
Early online date14 Mar 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Carbon capture and storage
  • Climate change
  • Environmental values
  • Religion
  • Risk

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