IHBC signpost update from Lords Committee: support climate behaviour change
A report published by the Lords Environment and Climate Change Committee into behaviour change for climate and environmental goals warns that the Government’s current approach to enabling behaviour change is seriously inadequate.
The Environment and Climate Change Committee writes:
The Environment and Climate Change Committee has published a report which warns that the Government’s current approach to enabling behaviour change is seriously inadequate and will result in the UK failing to meet its?net zero and environment targets…..
The Committee identified—drawing on the Committee on Climate Change’s assessment—that one third of greenhouse gas emissions reductions up to 2035 require decisions by individuals and households to adopt low carbon technologies and choose low-carbon products and services, as well as reduce carbon-intensive consumption.
The Committee found that while the Government has introduced some policies to help people adopt new technologies, like electric cars, that focus has not been replicated in other areas. The Committee concluded that there has been too great a reliance on as yet undeveloped technologies to get the UK to net zero?and a reluctance to help people cut carbon-intensive consumption.
During the inquiry the Committee heard from 146 organisations from across the UK and further afield including businesses, local authorities, charities and think tanks as well as government ministers, academics & researchers, and young people.
People power is critical to?reach our environmental goals, but?unless we are encouraged and enabled to change behaviours in how we travel, what we eat and buy and how we heat our homes, we won’t?meet those targets.?Polling shows the public is ready for leadership from the Government. People want to know how to play their part in tackling climate change and environmental damage.
The Government’s mantra of “going with the grain of consumer choice” demonstrates a reluctance to help people cut carbon-intensive consumption. It is in a unique position to guide the public in changing their behaviours, however their approach is inadequate in the face of the urgent scale of the environmental challenge.
The Committee recommends that the Government should:
learn from examples of where it has enabled behaviour change, including during the COVID-19 pandemic, and enable people to make the necessary shifts in the key areas of how we travel,?what we eat, what we buy?and?how we use energy at home
use the Net Zero Forum, announced in October 2021, to address the coordination, resourcing and responsibilities between local and central government, recognising the key role of local authorities in helping enable behaviour change in local communities
place fairness at the heart of policy design and tailor behaviour change interventions to avoid placing a burden on those who can least afford it. For example, providing financing support for low-income households as part of a national drive to improve the energy efficiency of our homes.
This article appears on the IHBC news and blog site as "IHBC signpost update from Lords Committee: Government must support behaviour change to meet climate targets" dated December 16, 2022
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