Beyond individual behaviour change: the role of power, knowledge and strategy in tackling climate change

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Individual behaviour change is often cited as a way forward by environmental organisations e.g. cycle to work, stop buying products with excess packaging etc Qualitative imperial research with 12 young environmentally active adults aged 25 -34. 9 women 3 men – in Flanders, Belgium. Four main areas 1. powerlessness – lack of knowledge, nothing seems to work ie lobbying, taking companies to court, politics don’t work, there is no strategy that could solve the problem 2. strategy scepticism – individual behaviour change won’t do anything – lack of belief 3. Conditioning and resistance – you shouldn’t make people change their behaviour – should be led by the individual – also even if everyone changed – it still wouldn’t change climate change – so if people think that they are doing the right things then they have a collective easing of conscience. People will put up resistance to doing the right thing because they are told to do so – or it is seen as the right thing to do 4. Gap between analysis and strategy – people didn’t know why they were doing the things that they were doing

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