The House of Lords Environment and Climate Change Committee issued a call for evidence on behaviour change in the context of climate change and the environment.
The CREDS mobility theme provided a submission based on CREDS’ project on High Energy Consumers. The project investigated the potential for the reduction of high-end domestic and travel-related energy consumption to contribute to decarbonisation.
- confirmed known drivers of high household energy consuming behaviour as home heating, car use and frequent flying;
- identified that these and other energy consuming behaviours are normalised in high consuming households and are driven by social norms and expectations rather than behaviourist understandings of discrete, rational choices primarily based on information and attitudes; and
- demonstrated that deliberation reveals that even high-end consumers believe that strong government action is required to limit some choices and make others more viable, to achieve behaviour change that has not manifested voluntarily.
This submission advised that government investment in low carbon alternatives and restriction of high consumption infrastructures and devices is necessary to achieve behaviour change in line with net-zero targets.
The project had three phases of research: quantitative area analyses identifying high household energy consumption; qualitative interviews of 30 people sampled from these areas, to explore their high-consuming homes and lifestyles, and deliberative workshops to explore the differential impacts, fairness, effectiveness and acceptability of different policy approaches to significantly reducing (particularly high) domestic and travel-related household energy consumption.
Cass, N. 2022. Evidence to the Lords Environmental and Climate Change Committee on Mobilising action on climate change and environment: behaviour change. CREDS consultation response 033 | February 2022.
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