The research community has highlighted for several decades the implications of greenhouse gas emissions for climate change. In response, world governments have agreed to limit global temperature change to 2°C, which requires drastic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. In advanced economies, a commitment to a 2°C limit generally represents a reduction of emissions of between 80-95% from the 1990 baseline. Despite this, emissions from international aviation increased by 53 % between 1990 and 2011 in those countries.
Dr Stuart Capstick is an environmental psychologist based at Cardiff University, where he completed his PhD in 2012. He carries out research into people’s understanding of climate change, and ways of promoting behaviour change for sustainability. As a Research Fellow on the CASPI project at Cardiff University, his main research looks at how environmentally-friendly lifestyles are understood and develop within different cultures.
Dr Capstick’s main research looks at how people in different parts of the world perceive and act in relation to environment concerns. This entails the use of public surveys run across seven countries, including China, India and South Africa. In particular, his research focuses on the linkages between different behaviours and the potential for action in one domain (such as recycling or energy-saving) to trigger or suppress action in another (such as changing diet or consumption practices) – a phenomenon known as behavioural spillover. He is also Co-Investigator on a project examining people’s perceptions and decision-making in relation to groundwater supplies in Nigeria, which aims to contribute to the development of safe and resilient water provision in the future. Stuart has worked with Tyndall Centre colleagues on approaches for promoting more radical behaviour and lifestyle change, in order to achieve deeper and more rapid emissions reduction. He has also worked with Tyndall researchers on strategies to help bring about a culture of low-carbon research. Previous research has examined the ways in which people’s understanding of climate change evolves over time, the links between personal experience of extreme weather and attitudes to climate change, public perceptions of ocean acidification, and approaches to communicating climate change.
Demski, C.et al. 2017. Experience of extreme weather affects climate change mitigation and adaptation responses. Climatic Change 140(2), pp. 149-164. (10.1007/s10584-016-1837-4)
Capstick, S.et al. 2016. Public understanding in Great Britain of ocean acidification [Letter]. Nature Climate Change 6(8), pp. 763-767. (10.1038/nclimate3005)
Capstick, S., Whitmarsh, L., Poortinga, W., Pidgeon, N., & Upham, P. (2015). International trends in public perceptions of climate change over the past quarter century. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, 6(1), 35-61. (10.1002/wcc.321)
Capstick, S., Lorenzoni, I., Corner, A., & Whitmarsh, L. (2015). Prospects for radical emissions reduction through behavior and lifestyle change. Carbon Management, 5(4), 429-445. (10.1080/17583004.2015.1020011)
Capstick, S. B., Pidgeon, N. F. and Henwood, K. 2015. Stability and change in British public discourses about climate change between 1997 and 2010. Environmental Values 24(6), pp. 725-753. (10.3197/096327115X14420732702617)
Role at Council:
Theme Leader, Governance and Behaviour