• Work on this briefing will commence in mid-September 2023, Publication expected January 2024.
  • Closed for Contribution.

Public behaviour influences the pace and direction of economic change and will affect every sector of importance for the net zero transition to some degree. On a global basis, household consumption accounts for almost three-quarters of greenhouse gas emissions. For high-income European countries, the largest contributions to household consumption footprints come from car and plane mobility, animal-based foods, and heating. Evidence shows that over the period 1990 to 2015 nearly half of the growth in absolute global emissions was due to the richest 10%, with the wealthiest 5% alone contributing over a third (37%). The CCC has estimated over 65% of emissions reductions to 2035 will involve some form of public choice. The public indicates they broadly support net zero and want to make more sustainable choices, but this does not always translate into support for policies to reduce emissions. The House of Lords Environment and Climate Change Committee has also warned the government’s approach to behaviour change is “seriously inadequate”

This POSTnote would set out what changes are need in public behaviour to achieve net zero, such as purchasing electric vehicles, energy efficiency, purchasing renewable energy or minimising aviation emissions. It would summarise relevant initiatives in other countries and policy areas, the key knowledge gaps and what barriers may need to be addressed or incentives provided.

Work will commence in September 2023, publication expected January 2024.

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