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Supporting the Change of Behaviours That Can Have an Impact

Nudges, social norms, digital tools and triggers for shifting to plant based diets, saving energy at home or reducing daily food waste – these are just some of the examples that participants could experience and discuss during the Day of Change, which was organised by the Academy of Change project in Brussels on 1 July 2019.

To keep global rise of temperatures to 1.5 degree, substantial reductions of CO2 emissions related to our lifestyles have to happen fast. Sari Laine, of the Finnish Innovation Fund SITRA presented the Summary of 1.5 degree lifestyle report, highlighting high emission impact areas like meat and dairy consumption or transport. While reduction pathways for these emission areas are partly attributed to changes in infrastructure and policy frameworks, several topics also call for a shift in personal behaviours.

That need for a change in everyday lifestyles was discussed lively by the expert panel consisting of Renatas Mazeika, Head of Unit for Consumer Policy, DG JUST, European Commission, Dr Kate Burningham, Deputy Director in CUSP, University of Surrey, Antonios Proestakis, Policy Analyst, Competence Centre on Behavioural Insights, JRC, Rachel Gray, Behaviour Change Manager, WRAP and Rob Moore, Director, Behaviour Change and moderated by CSCP’s Mariana Nicolau. Key messages from the discussion included the need for developing and testing behavior change interventions on the ground, and for science-based policy making when aiming to change the way citizens act. Also, ensuring that the approaches are socially inclusive and that the pressure for solving climate change is not put solely on the individual.

The Academy of Change pilots, conducted by Greenpeace Spain in Madrid to increase plant-based diets in canteens, by Friends of Nature in China in Beijing to save energy at the household level, as well as by Verbraucher Intitiative in Berlin to reduce household food waste, presented their work and gave participants the chance to interact with some of the intervention material. Additional interactive sessions were given by the INHERIT project on healthy, sustainable and equitable lifestyles, the Parents project on energy saving with the help of smart metering and CIDSE’s movie Energy to Change.

The Academy of Change team also announced that two more rounds of the Academy programme on behavioural insights will be offered for NGOs working on climate and sustainability topics and the call for application will be reopened in the coming weeks. If you are working for an NGO and interested in the programme, you can already register your interest here.

The Academy of Change will continue to work for another two more years with a renewal of funding from the KR Foundation. If you are not an NGO, but you are interested in bringing the Academy of Change to other groups, then please get in touch with Mariana Nicolau.

For more information please contact Mariana Nicolau.