A Survey of Public Attitudes towards Energy & Environment in Great Britain

Published: March 2005

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In September 2004, the Laboratory for Energy and the Environment (LFEE) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in conjunction with the Judge Institute of Management at the University of Cambridge, conducted a survey of attitudes towards energy and environmental issues amongst the British public. This survey parallels one undertaken in late September and early October 2003 of U.S. public attitudes on energy use and environmental concerns.1 Goals of the surveys included collecting information about attitudes toward global warming and climate change-mitigation technologies; levels of public understanding of global warming and the carbon cycle; and awareness of carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS).

This report summarizes the results of the British survey. It explores public attitudes toward the environment in general and then, more specifically, toward global warming and global warming- mitigation technologies (Sections 3, 4 and 7). Sections 5 and 6 explore public understanding of sources of carbon dioxide and a climate change-mitigation technology called carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS). Section 8 reports responses to a question about willingness of respondents to pay to solve global warming and Section 9 looks at the effect of information on technology preferences.

MITEI Author

Howard Herzog Senior Research Engineer

MIT Energy Initiative