An intensive program of 40 years of research has produced various conceptual cognitive and affective approaches to environmental risk perception. In this short review of the most relevant conceptual approaches, appraisal theory is presented as a useful means of integrating cognitive and affective approaches to risk perception. Appraisal theory offers an opportunity to advance our understanding of how environmental risk perception operates in an emotion-specific manner and enables identification of new research directions. Although within other conceptual approaches there are still open research questions, the potential for examining environmental risk perception within appraisal theory has not yet been fully explored. Reviewing current appraisal theoretical models, seven research questions are suggested to structure future research on environmental risk perception.