Some people are more environmentally conscious than others, and scientists believe the reason lies in their genes. A new study found that identical twins have similar views on conservation and environmental protection as fraternal twins. The researchers argued that this demonstrates the existing link between people’s genetic makeup and their support for environmental policy.
A recent study in Singapore showed that people’s environmental awareness stems from genes.
“Considering genetic components gives us a more holistic answer, but genetic outcomes are all about probability, not certainty,” said Chia-chen Chang, research fellow at the National University of Singapore and lead author of the study.
However, the study’s authors used traits from more than a thousand twins from TwinsUK registries, the largest database of twins in the country. Next, they examined the answers of identical and dizygotic twins to questions about their interest in nature, their environmental activism, and their environmentally friendly behavior.
The results showed that identical twins had more in common in all three categories. According to scientists, this shows that there is a link between human genetics and environmental behavior, and that environmental traits come from a gene.
On the subject, Chang said, “At first I did not expect such a difference in the similar tendencies of dizygoti and identical twins. “However, our findings are supported by previous research that has found traits inherited from altruistic and cooperative behavior.”
On the other hand, the authors of the study emphasize that the social environment in which one grows up and surrounds contributes more than 50 percent of the individual attention to nature, environmental activism and personal behavior.
“Inheritance suggests that genetic components are involved in this situation,” said Chang. But it shapes our behavior through both genetic and environmental factors. “It’s probably more complicated with our environmental behavior than we thought,” he said.
Felix Tropf, a professor of genetics at the Center for Economic and Statistical Research who was not involved in the study, said more work on global understanding is needed to understand the role of heredity in people’s environmental attitudes.
“There is not a single gene that brings people closer to nature,” says Tropf. “It is nice to analyze the impact on individual behavior towards the environment, but ultimately climate change is a systemic and political issue,” he said.