Investigating public preferences and willingness to pay for carbon capture and storage (CCS) in the United Kingdom
: evidence from a contingent valuation

  • Tanisha Waring

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The aim of this research is to investigate public preferences and willingness to pay for carbon capture and storage in the United Kingdom. In addition, this thesis seeks to understand the cognitive processes shaping opinion formation on carbon capture and storage, and the extent to which these influence willingness to pay. The first of these processes to be explored is political motivated reasoning. Previous studies have found evidence suggesting that an individual’s perceptions surrounding climate policy is influenced by political beliefs; yet, these have rarely been explored in stated preference studies. I then go on to examine another cognitive process that has been suggested to moderate the intention-behaviour gap often observed in behaviour change studies, anticipated regret.

I develop a contingent valuation survey to elicit willingness to pay from a representative sample of the UK population involving 1033 individuals. The contingent valuation study employs the double bounded dichotomous choice format and interval regression models are used to estimate WTP values and determine the factors underlying these decisions. I employ split sampling to investigate the effect of different message framings on the WTP decisions made by political partisans to determine if motivated reasoning is present. Respondents are also split into treatment groups to determine if invoking the concept of anticipated regret increases willingness to pay for CCS implementation.

Mean WTP for the implementation of CCS is approximately £96. Evidence of motivated reasoning is found, albeit not in a political context.

In terms of the effect of invoking feelings of anticipated regret, the environmental message frame is stronger than the economic frame.

The willingness to pay expressed in this study, driven by concerns about climate change and energy security, shows that the support expressed by the government for the implementation of the technology is justified by people’s preferences.

Thesis is embargoed until 31 July 2028.
Date of AwardJul 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Queen's University Belfast
SponsorsNorthern Ireland Department for the Economy
SupervisorAlberto Longo (Supervisor) & George Hutchinson (Supervisor)


  • Contingetn valuation
  • stated preference
  • environmental economics
  • willingness to pay
  • climate change mitigation
  • carbon capture and storage
  • motivated reasoning
  • anticipated regret

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