Our Common Future Under Climate Change

International Scientific Conference 7-10 JULY 2015 Paris, France

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Thursday 9 July - 16:30-18:00 UNESCO Bonvin - ROOM XIII

3316 - Towards solutions that transcend technology and markets: The role of choices and behaviour change

Parallel Session

Lead Convener(s): S. Pahl (Plymouth University, Plymouth, Devon, United Kingdom)

Convener(s): A. Pegels (German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), Bonn, Germany), Y. Mulugetta (University College London, London, United Kingdom)

16:30

Demand-side solutions to mitigate climate change

F. Creutzig (Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change, Berlin, Germany), N. Dubash (Center for Policy Research, New Delhi, India), H. Helmut (Uni Klagenfurt, Klagenfurt, Austria), Y. Mulugetta (University College London, London, United Kingdom), K. Seto, (Yale University, New Haven, United States of America), D. Urge-Vorsatz (Center for Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Policy (3CSEP), Budapest, Hungary)

Abstract details
Demand-side solutions to mitigate climate change

F. Creutzig (1) ; N. Dubash (2) ; H. Helmut (3) ; Y. Mulugetta (4) ; K. Seto, (5) ; D. Urge-Vorsatz (6)
(1) Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change, Land use, transport and infrastructures, Berlin, Germany; (2) Center for Policy Research, New Delhi, India; (3) Uni Klagenfurt, Klagenfurt, Austria; (4) University College London, Science, Technology, Engineering & Public Policy, London, United Kingdom; (5) Yale University, School of forestry, New Haven, United States of America; (6) Center for Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Policy (3CSEP), Central european university, Budapest, Hungary

Abstract content

The main emphasis in assessments on climate change solutions has been on technologies and options subjected to cost-benefit analysis. However, many proposed mitigation solutions can hardly be squeezed into such categories or assessed through such  analytical frameworks. Because of this mismatch such mitigation options are systematically underrepresented in integrated climate change mitigation analyses and assessments. To counteract this bias, the paper emphasizes the importance of these underreported mitigation options. First, the paper reviews the literature and taxonomies on the options available in the “mitigation space” and maps the diversity of mitigation options. Then, it reviews the key analytical frameworks that integrate mitigation options to prepare climate-related decision-making, including their strengths and shortcomings. The paper thene synthesizes examples of the underrepresented mitigation options from different sectors mostly drawing on results from the IPCC’s AR5. The paper then reviews selected examples of the underrepresented mitigation options from several demand-side sectors.  it calls for the need ofcomplementary analytical frameworks to cost-benefit analysis, and suggests one based on evaluating political feasibility and desirability of demand-side and infrastructure solutions that interact with endogenous preference formation. It observes that both ‘hard’ infrastructures, such as the built environment, and ‘soft’ infrastructures, such as social expectations, share behavior, and, in turn, offer significant potential for mitigating overall energy demand. The overall order of magnitude of mitigation potential of these underrepresented options can be equal to those of technologies. In contrast to the technological options, their potential depends less on economic factors but more on political will and social transformations.

16:40

Show me the money (and the information)! Durability driven uptake of efficient lighting in a context of informality

A. Figueroa (German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), Bonn, Germany)

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Show me the money (and the information)! Durability driven uptake of efficient lighting in a context of informality

A. Figueroa (1)
(1) German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), Bonn, Germany

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Consumer-driven uptake of energy efficient lighting can make meaningful bottom-up and behaviour change driven contributions to address climate change challenges. The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimated that in 2005 lighting accounted for 2,650 TWh, equivalent to 19% of annual global electricity demand. This is equivalent to the power generated by all gas-fired power plants worldwide and results in annual emissions equal to 70% of world passenger vehicle emissions (IEA 2006; UNEP 2012).

Particularly among poor communities in developing countries where a light bulb is by far the most common household appliance, progress is needed to realise end-user uptake. Although light-emitting diodes (LEDs) may not always be available or affordable for these communities, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) offer a cost competitive means of energy efficiency uptake. CFLs use up to 80% less power and offer co-benefits such as a longer lifespan and grid load reduction which can contribute to economic welfare and development pursuits. Yet despite these potential benefits, the uptake of CFL bulbs lags. Among 800 survey respondents with an existing electricity connection in Kibera, an informal settlement in Nairobi, Kenya, only 20% have CFLs. What prevents the apparently economically rational purchase of CFLs and how might behaviour change contribute to increased uptake?

Field research in Kibera identified burdens and benefits of CFL adoption. This revealed that when power surges occur on the electrical grid serving Kibera, a majority of residents report that incandescent bulbs burst while CFLs withstand power surges. The relatively high number of power surges occurring on the grid translates to a payback period averaging six weeks, even in a context of non- or flat-rate electricity payment, common arrangements in informal settlements. However, behaviours such as a present-bias or limited self control along with quality assurance concerns such as the high presence of apparently poor performing counterfeit bulbs has reduced confidence and resulting market share for CFLs.

We employ a laboratory-in-the-field experiment (N=651) in Kibera to identify barriers and potential drivers of CFL purchase. Four elements form our research framework: a laboratory protocol testing psychological attributes; a household baseline survey evaluating demographics and energy use; the application of a randomised control trial testing three potential drivers of CFL uptake, and household endline observation.

The treatments seek to test three hypothesised barriers to the uptake of CFL light bulbs: Awareness, liquidity, and commitment, by providing treatments anticipated to address each barrier. The awareness treatment seeks to “nudge” (Thaler / Sunstein 2008) consumers toward CFL purchase by providing information to address a perceived bias towards incandescent light bulbs. The liquidity treatment provides a subsidy to reduce the price of a CFL bulb to that of an incandescent. The commitment treatment provides a financial reward for committing to purchase a CFL and seeks to address potential barriers related to self-control by regulating this through a prior commitment. We employ a field purchase experiment that more realistically replicates the actual shopping environment that would be encountered.

The findings show that while the provision of liquidity for CFL purchase can positively impact uptake, this is more than tripled by the additional provision of salient information demonstrating the durability of CFL bulbs in comparison to incandescent bulbs. This finding is relevant for the design of behaviour-informed energy efficiency initiatives in developing countries. It demonstrates the potential “pull” of non-monetary and behavioural instruments in energy efficient lighting uptake in a context of poverty, extending the traditional focus of behaviour and energy efficiency beyond developed countries.

Bibliography

International Energy Agency (2006): “Light’s Labour Lost: Policies for Energy-Efficient Lighting, in Support of the G8 Plan of Action.” Paris: International Energy Agency / OECD.

Thaler / Sunstein (2008): Nudge: Improving decision about health, wealth, and happiness. Penguin: New York.

UNEP (2012): Achieving the Global Transition to Energy Efficient Lighting Toolkit.

Vohs, K. (2013): The poor’s poor mental power, in: Science, 341: 969-970.

16:50

Perceived climate variability and water scarcity: stress experiences and survivalist responses in water resources management in Cameroon

E. M. Fomba (University of Dschang, Dschang, Cameroon), T. M. Noukeu (University of Dschang, Dschang, Cameroon)

Abstract details
Perceived climate variability and water scarcity: stress experiences and survivalist responses in water resources management in Cameroon

EM. Fomba (1) ; TM. Noukeu (2)
(1) University of Dschang, PPS-Psychology, Dschang, Cameroon; (2) University of Dschang, Former student, pps-psychology, Dschang, Cameroon

Abstract content

Despite the interplay of many factors, climate variability has been recognised for degrading fresh water resources, destabilising human behaviours and activities; drawing in behavioural intervention as an indispensable dimension of integrated water resources management. Positioning water at the centre of human life and activities the paper regrets that human behaviour appears the least understood dimension of global change, climate variability and accompanying risks such as water related stress, thereby undermining human factors in management options and survivalist behaviours of local people.  It asserts that emerging strategies in natural resources management drawn from climate variability have embraced people-centre models as core strategic values in sustainable water resources management with increased role of human factors in understanding the psychology of people as facilitators and inhibitors of effective outcomes in physical water systems. In context, increased recognition and focus on the human factor in climate variability, water crisis, stress experiences and response measures are evidenced by the critical role of human behaviours. While crisis relating to water resources management has been generally approached from physical science perspectives, the paper upholds that water management is a psychological problem, and human behaviour can provide significant insights into the antecedents and consequences of water crisis. Also, it submits that the inclusion of behavioral sciences is a prerequisite to linking the physical sciences to the broader social context while promoting water conservation behaviours capable of stress aversion.  The present study investigated perceived climate variability, water scarcity and adaptive strategies of local people. A sample of 254 participants (52.4%) males, average age 28.39, (SD, 9.08), were drawn from Bangagnte, Cameroon. A self-report questionnaire with significant internal consistency was used to collect data, and descriptive and inferential statistics used for analysis. Results revealed significant relationships among study variables, except for perceived water scarcity and stress experiences, suggesting the relevance of a behavioral framework in the analysis of climate variability and sustainable use and management of water resources. Also, the relationship between perceived climate variability and water scarcity was significant, while perceived water scarcity and stress experiences were insignificant.  Regression analysis confirmed perceived climate variability, water shortage and stress as significant predictors of adaptive responses and mitigation behaviors. Apart from perception of water crisis, t-test analysis showed no significant gender differences for stress level, adaptive and mitigating behaviors. From analysis, the human-centre model constitutes a pathway toward sustainable water management capable of promoting adaptive competences, strategies and actions. While the study has implications for policy, research and practice, it strongly advocates the integration of behavioral science mechanisms in addressing climate variability and natural resources management dominated by physical sciences in an anxiety-provoking era of global change.

 

Key words: climate varibility, stress, adaptability

17:00

Motivation to engage in sustainable behaviour

L. Steg (University of Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands)

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Motivation to engage in sustainable behaviour

L. Steg (1)
(1) University of Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands

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Contribution to session no. 3316 (convened by Dr. Sabine Pahl)

Sustainable development implies a future in which both environmental quality and human well-being are secured. Yet, sustainable behaviour is often believed to be less attractive (e.g., more expensive, time consuming, effortful), which may inhibit sustainable choices as this may threaten individual well-being. Despite this, many people do engage in sustainable actions. Why are they willing to do so? I will argue that values are a key motivating factor in this respect. I will elaborate on which values are likely to promote or inhibit sustainable actions. Notably, hedonic values that make people focus on what makes them feel good, and egoistic values that make them focus on how to increase their resources often inhibit sustainable behaviour, particularly if such behaviour is costly or effortful. Both reflect self-enhancement values. In contrast, altruistic values that make people focus on ways to benefit others, and biospheric values that make people focus on benefiting nature and the environment generally promote sustainable behaviour; both reflect self-transcendence values. Next, I indicate via which processes values affect sustainable behaviour. More specifically, I will illustrate that values affect which behaviour consequences people find important, and how they evaluate behavioural consequences given the implications of the relevant behaviour for their important values. Moreover, values affect the activation of personal norms, that is, feelings of moral obligation to engage in sustainable behaviour, that in turn affect the likelihood of such behaviour. Also, engaging in sustainable actions make people good, and people may anticipate such positive feelings elicited by doing the right thing, which may promote sustainable actions. Finally, I will discuss factors that may activate or deactivate values, thereby affecting the likelihood that the relevant values steer sustainable choices in a given situation. Values can be activated by value-related cues, costs of sustainable behaviour, and situational cues that reflect that other people respected or disrespected norms, and acted upon their self-enhancement rather than their self-transcendence values.

17:10

Behaviour change or lifestyle change? Evidence and prospects for behavioural ‘spillover'

L. Whitmarsh (Cardiff University, Cardiff , United Kingdom)

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Behaviour change or lifestyle change? Evidence and prospects for behavioural ‘spillover'

L. Whitmarsh (1)
(1) Cardiff University, School of Psychology, Cardiff , United Kingdom

Abstract content

Contribution to session no. 3316 (convened by Dr Sabine Pahl)

There is increasing acknowledgement that profound changes to individual behaviour are required in order to tackle climate change, and yet policies to achieve these changes have so far met with limited success. Most people are willing to make only very small changes to their lifestyle – so new ways of encouraging green behaviour which can match the scale of the climate change challenge are needed. The UK government and several psychologists have suggested behavioural ‘spillover’ might be a way to achieve this. Spillover is the notion that taking up one green behaviour (e.g., recycling) can lead on to other green behaviours (e.g., taking your own bags shopping). Ultimately, this might hold the key to moving beyond piecemeal behaviour change to achieving more ambitious, holistic lifestyle change. This talk will present initial work to explore when spillover does, does not, and could, occur using correlational and experimental data. First, factor analysis of UK survey data (N=551) will be presented exposing clusters of pro-environmental behaviours that co-occur, potentially indicating spillover between actions similar in difficulty and/or location. This study exposes how consistent individuals are in their behaviour and which factors (e.g., identity) might underlie spillover; it also provides some insight into which behaviours might act as ‘catalyst’ behaviours to trigger spillover to similar actions. Next two studies are presented which focus on the potential for specific behaviours – installing insulation and carrier bag reuse – to trigger behavioural spillover. Analysis of survey data (N=736) of Welsh homeowners’ adoption of energy efficiency measures shows that those who adopt home insulation are significantly more likely to undertake other energy saving measures (e.g., turning down thermostats) in the home. This relationship holds when controlling for environmental values, suggesting behavioural spillover may be occurring in this context. Finally, a field experiment of the Welsh carrier bag change, will be presented that finds carrier bag reuse does not lead to behavioural spillover to similar (waste-related) pro-environmental behaviours. These divergent findings highlight the importance of contextual factors in facilitating pro-environmental behaviour and behavioural spillover, and a need to understand the mechanism underlying spillover. Ongoing lab experiments to induce behavioural spillover and thereby expose this underlying mechanism will briefly be discussed, along with implications for policy and practice.

17:20

Global middle classes and their carbon footprints

F. Reusswig (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Potsdam, Brandenburg, France)

Abstract details
Global middle classes and their carbon footprints

F. Reusswig (1)
(1) Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Transdisciplinary Concepts and Methods, Potsdam, Brandenburg, France

Abstract content

While many climate change scholars from the social sciences (including economics) have paid attention to the GHG emissions contribution of different countries (including average per capita incomes and per capita emissions), we do know much less on emissions by individuals worldwide (regardless of country). But the development of the former (e.g. measured in average GDP) and the latter are linked: the richer countries get on average, the higher the income inequality, and the larger the portion of people that move from the national poor to the national middle classes. Currently, this is particularly the case in rapidly developing countries such as India and China.

We will present estimates of individual income by class, and of the respective carbon footprints by class. Our main reference points are Germany, the US, and India. Our basis with respect to income distribution worldwide will be the work of Xavier Sala-i-Martin and Thomas Piketty on the one hand, and national statistics on the other. The assessment of class-specific individual footprints will be based by nation-specific carbon footprint assessments and calculators.

Our results will show that while individuals from the developed world are still responsible for the vast majority of GHG emissions, upper and upper middle classes in some rapidly developing countries have now entered the global 'responsibility space', i.e. emit above per capita world average. We will discuss the implications of these findings both for national and for international climate policies.

17:30

Panel discussion

M. Depledge

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Panel discussion
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