Around three fourths of Europe’s CO2 emissions are associated with households consumption. Meeting EU’s ambitious climate change targets of reductions in carbon emissions by 2050 will therefore require patterns of household consumption to change radically from the current baseline. Influencing behaviour is a key part of this.
However, ultimately behavioural change messages will not address “rebound” effect or encourage broader sustainability thinking. Indeed, often, people spend money saved on high carbon products or services, offsetting dramatically saved greenhouse gas emissions and sometimes having a huge counter-productive effect on efforts already made.
So, what’s the solution? Manipulate people?
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Is manipulation the only way to change behaviours?
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Behavioural sciences are not accurate sciences. And it’s not easy to successfully engage a behavioural change programme, especially when behaviour changes need some sacrifices and utility loss, such as, in climate change case, travelling less, eating less meat, buying less electronically stuff and so on.
￼Between 2010 and 2012, a programme of research into climate change relevant behaviours has been taken forward by the Scottish Government. Drawing learning, the programme argues that influencing behaviour is crucial, and offers some thinking about how this might be done. Here are 6 tips the late programme’s results highlight:
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6 tips for a successful behavioural change programme
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Energy Services Companies struggle to convince users to save sustainably energy in their professional environment. Simultaneously, the Internet and social networks let spring up new ways of rating services providers. Indeed, “consumers have more power than ever before to call attention to bad products, services, and experiences”. Thus, app developers or luxury touristic hotels can face good and bad reviews from their customers for the value they bring. What if Energy Services Companies used social media to point their users’ bad or energy-wasting behaviours?