Department of Geography

Low carbon behaviour change

Low carbon behaviour change is a fundamental aspect of a transition to a low carbon society. However, current government efforts to galvanise such low carbon behaviour change have been largely unsuccessful. This interdisciplinary research theme engages across the social sciences (including geography, applied policy research and social psychology) and the arts and humanities to develop better understandings of how policy could more effectively catalyse more widespread, low carbon behaviour change.

Key staff: David Ockwell

Example projects

Past research efforts (funded by ESRC via the Sussex Energy Group) have focussed on using social psychology metrics to understand the impacts of different arts and media based interventions on people’s affective (emotional) engagement with climate change as a vital precursor to behavioural change.

Further research is currently under development which extends this approach to participatory arts interventions amongst middle class communities in rapidly emerging economies.

Selected Publications

Ockwell D, Whitmarsh L and O'Neill S (2010) "Behavioural insights: motivating individual emissions cuts through communication" in Constance Lever-Tracy (ed) (2010) Routledge Handbook of Climate Change and Society, Routledge, Cheltenham (pp.341-350)

Ockwell D, Whitmarsh L and O'Neill S (2009) "Reorienting climate change communication for effective mitigation - forcing people to be green or fostering grass-roots engagement?" Science Communication 30: 305-327 (Jnl Impact Factor 1.436)1.

Ockwell D,  O’Neill S and Whitmarsh L (2010) Strong climate legislation and public behaviour change – the role of communication.  Sussex Energy Group, University of Sussex, Brighton

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