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Climate change: changing British behaviour in a global context

Ian Christie and Steve Sorrell as Advisors at RSA Workshop
25 November 2013
Royal Society of Arts, London
Supported by the Climate Change Collaboration, the RSA is holding a workshop on "Climate change: changing British behaviour in a global context" in London the 25th of November.
A range of experts is invited to explore opportunities to change British behaviour in ways that will have a meaningful impact on the global climate problem. The discussion will be informed by guest speakers as well as research by the RSA Social Brain Centre.
Widespread patterns of climate ‘stealth denial’ in the British population constitute a challenge to current energy efficiency strategies. The overarching aim of the session is to build a more tangible sense of what the focus of climate campaigning in the UK should be, critically engaging with the political and economic constraints that may impede such action.
As part of this high-level workshop, Steve Sorrell will give a presentation on "Taking the Rebound Effect Seriously". In drawing on the SLRG project work for mapping rebound effects from sustainable behaviour, he will present its findings that while rebound effects, in GHG terms, are modest (0-32%) for measures affecting domestic energy use, they are larger (25-65%) for measures affecting vehicle fuel use and very large (66-106%) for sustainability measures that reduce food waste. Furthermore, behavioural changes undertaken by low income households are associated with the largest rebound effects - direct emissions form the biggest proportion of the total rebound effect for those households. Insights, that highlight the importance of allowing for rebound effects within policy appraisals and reinforce the case for economy-wide carbon pricing.


For information on the SLRG project Mapping rebound effects from sustainable behaviour go here. A range of RSA Brain Centre reports can be downloaded here.
Image: courtesy of  jannoon028 /  |modified