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Presentation on theme: "Beyond the ABC TRANSITIONS IN PRACTICE TRANSITIONS IN PRACTICE"— Presentation transcript:

how social science can help climate change policy TRANSITIONS IN PRACTICE climate change and everyday life TRANSITIONS IN PRACTICE climate change and everyday life Elizabeth Shove, Lancaster University ESRC climate change leadership fellowship Elizabeth Shove, Lancaster University ESRC climate change leadership fellowship

2 Reservoir of resources in social theory
Including social theories of consumption, material culture, technology studies, cultural theory, theories of practice, histories of socio-technical change, transitions, innovation studies…. Climate change is probably the greatest long-term challenge facing the human race (Blair 2006). New ideas are needed, existing interventions are not enough.

3 the ABC of sustainable consumption

4 A B C Individuals have attitudes
Attitudes towards consumption, waste and responsibility need changing Attitudes are changed by persuasion and information. Attitudes drive behaviour A Behaviour is what individuals do. Behaviours need changing. Behaviours are driven by attitudes and prices. People choose how to behave B C If individuals chose to use less energy, water and other resources we’d not be in the fix we are Policy makers need to encourage individuals to make different choices

5 Behavioural psychology and economics dominate climate change policy
Kick the CO2 habit (United Nations Environment Programme 2008) Creatures of Habit: the Art of Behavioural Change (Prendergast 2008) I Will if You Will (Sustainable Consumption Round Table 2006) Changing behaviour through policy making (DEFRA 2005) Motivating Sustainable Consumption (Jackson 2005) Driving public behaviours for sustainable lifestyles (Darnton 2004) DEFRA, A framework for pro-environmental behaviours (2008) Behaviour change goals include more responsible water usage

6 Attraction No. 1: emphasise consumer choice
Chosen behaviour Driving factors levers Other Chosen behaviour Change driving factors Drivers include Attitudes Society Economics Other people Habit Externalise pretty much anything, including the role of government and policy

7 Assume a ‘green’ orientation to a huge range of different practices
DEFRA, 2008 Framework for Pro-Environmental Behaviours The headline behaviour goals Install insulation -Better energy management -Install microgeneration-Increase recycling -Waste less (food)-More responsible water usage-Use more efficient vehicles -Use car less for short trips -Avoid unnecessary flights (short haul)-Buy energy efficient products-Eat more food that is locally in season -Adopt lower impact diet Social marketing of green consumption Avoiding regulation Assume choice Focus on efficiency, not demand

8 Attraction No. 2: segments inform targets
High ability and willing Low potential and unwilling Segment willingness and ability Ability to act High Low 1: Positive greens I think it’s important that I do as much as I can to limit my impact on the environment. 18% 3: Concerned consumers I think I do more than a lot of people. Still, going away is important, I’d find that hard to give up..well I wouldn’t, so carbon off-setting would make me feel better. 14% 4: Sideline supporters I think climate change is a big problem for us. I know I don’t think much about how much water or electricity I use, and I forget to turn things off..I’d like to do a bit more. 5: Cautious participants I do a couple of things to help the environment. I’d really like to do more, well as long as I saw others were. 14% 2: Waste watchers ‘Waste not, want not’ that’s important, you should live life thinking about what you are doing and using. 12% 7: Honestly disengaged Maybe there’ll be an environmental disaster, maybe not. Makes no difference to me, I’m just living life the way I want to. 18% 6: Stalled starters I don’t know much about climate change. I can’t afford a car so I use public transport.. I’d like a car though. 10% High Willing to Act Low Attraction No. 2: segments inform targets 8 8

9 Attraction No. 3: consumers as factors in systems that can be modeled.
Social Demographic Change Customer Demanding Accepting Environmental, economic and social drivers of the future; of which the social is defined like this: Mouchel for UKWIR Demographic Change (fixed) Customer The demanding customer will expect to be able to use as much water as they wish and can afford. Not susceptible to water efficiency messages Also likely to expect very high standards of service The accepting customer will be prepared to use water more sparingly for the greater good. Will accept current standards of service.

10 Attraction No. 4: provides an ‘evidence’ based approach
And a logical explanation for intervention Attitudes are this Opportunities are that Barriers are the following If obstacles are overcome, behaviours are likely to change Universality of behaviour Permits comparisons and lessons from smoking to building design; from eating to driving; from laundering to gardening; from one country to another Uniformity of levers and drivers - human nature; together with market segments. Depending on what you count as evidence!

11 Attraction No. 5: the ABC deals with everything
Assume levers, and if they don’t work, assume barriers. Assume choice, and if it doesn’t transpire, assume habit. Assume drivers, - the detail doesn’t matter Assume that attitudes are drivers, so collect and use evidence on attitudes

12 Attraction No. 6: allocates responsibility
Twelve Steps to Help You Kick the CO2 Habit “The day's agenda is to give a human face to environmental issues; empower people to become active agents of sustainable and equitable development” …. Or, “The day’s agenda is to position C02 as an matter of personal addiction, thereby denying the social formation of habit, or any wider politics of consumption, production and demand”

13 Dominant social theory and policy
Individual attitudes, behaviour, choice price and persuasion Dynamic regimes of everyday life; changing definitions of normal practice generate changing patterns of demand for energy, water, and other resources. Social theories of practice and transition but what link to policy?

14 A practice is social .. it is a ‘type’ of behaving and understanding that appears at different locales and at different points of time and is carried out by different body/minds. (Reckwitz 2000: 250) Practices involve the active integration of materials, images and competence. Practices are coherent entities that require performance for their existence: performances are generative and transformative.

15 A practice “consists of several elements, interconnected to one other: forms of bodily activities, forms of mental activities, ‘things’ and their use, a background knowledge in the form of understanding, know-how, states of emotion and motivational knowledge.” (Reckwitz 2002: 249). Consumption occurs as items are appropriated in the course of engaging in particular practices ( Warde 2005, p131.)

16 For example running hot water; bathrooms; ideas of body and hygiene, freshness, knowing how to operate shower and get the temperature right. A bicycle, a road, an ability to balance, and the sense that this is a normal and not a crazy thing to do. Flour, sugar, eggs and milk, an idea of home baking, competence to combine and cook ingredients

17 The circulation and distribution of elements

18 Links are made and broken between practices

19 Theories of behaviour Theories of practice Individual choice
External drivers Common base in belief Causal Theories of practice Shared, social Endogenous dynamics Specific cultural and material histories Reproductive, generative

20 Global cooling “using energy to keep cool in hot ambient temperatures on a large scale is a relatively new development.” the potential cooling demand in metropolitan Mumbai is about 24% of the demand for the entire United States. Sivak, M. (2009), Potential energy demand for cooling in the 50 largest metropolitan areas of the world : Implications for developing countries, Energy Policy, 37, 1382–1384 “energy demand for air conditioning increases rapidly in the 21st century. The increase is from close to 300 TWh in 2000, to about 4000 TWh in 2050 and more than 10,000 TWh in 2100” Isaac, M. and van Vuuren, D. (2009), “Modeling global residential sector energy demand for heating and air conditioning in the context of climate change, Energy Policy 37,507–521

21 How did the practice of heating and cooling to around 22 degrees C become normal? what climate to provide? Arrival of capacity to control .. So what should indoors be like

22 Standardising comfort, sweat and smell: the clo and the olf
The standard amount of insulation required to keep a resting person warm in a windless room at 70 °F (21.1°C) is equal to one Clo. Units were chosen so that 1 clo would be roughly the insulating value afforded by a man’s underwear and a lightweight suit, or “a heavy top coat alone.” The Olf is a unit used to measure the scent emission of people and objects. One olf is defined as the scent emission of an "average person", a sitting adult that takes an average of 0.7 baths per day and whose skin has a total area of 1.8 square metres; the scent emission of an object or person is measured by trained personnel comparing it to normed scents. Standardising science reproduces a specific set of cultural conventions: this matters for ventilation rates and energy consumption. Professor Fanger in his "Doctor-dress" at a reception at DTU, June 2001

23 Air conditioning as normal
Contrasting ‘start’ conditions; so if we considered australia, japan and the usa, would we describe three regime transitions or one? Socio-technical innovation but with standard technology. However if we attend to the rest of the sociotechnical ‘systems; we see different forms and processes of disappearance including some resistance in japan. And somewhat different notions of ‘need’ in australia compared to the USA. Yet globally, these different patterns all feed a similarly ‘standardising’ outcome – 22 degrees C. Energy intensity.. Etc. As with other sts transitions, a case that’s mostly about the private sector: govts regulate efficiency sometimes, but not the ‘need’ for ac or possibility to install it. Can we use this model to understand or anticipate ‘the future’ emergence of new (or should it be old) non-air conditioned ‘niches’? Can govts, now, do anything to stem the tide? Though tricky to account for in terms of the basically technological hierarchy story, its easier to conceptualise in terms of circulation of elements. (the ears model doesn’t really deal with change: only makes the point that image/meaning and infrastructures/sops both constitute practice). Leave these puzzles there and go on to others. (Geels 2002) Disappearing systems: sweat, clothing, siesta

24 Configuring refrigerated regimes
USA: post war house building, 1950s onwards Japan: symbol of westernisation, 1980s Australia: retrofitting existing stock, 2000 Different trajectories in different countries Diversity between and within countries

25 Air conditioning as normal
Configuration 1. In which maintaining degrees C. indoors is novel Configuration 2. In which maintaining degrees C. indoors has become normal Japan India Australia time Technology already established: enters existing regimes, ready-made

26 Practice oriented Behaviour oriented
How do concepts of comfort come to be as they are? How are systems of practice sustained? How might these be reconfigured? Intervention in the reproduction of everyday practice (18-28 degrees C, rather than 22) Scale of impact: potentially massive Behaviour oriented Why don’t people turn the heating/cooling down at night? Why don’t they install more efficient technologies? Why don’t they install more insulation? Promote efficiency and ‘retain current standards’ Scale of impact: inherently limited

27 Opportunities for practice oriented policy
To stem the adoption and/or use of air conditioning Why 22 degrees C., where did that idea come from, what assumptions does it carry with it. Why wear a suit when it is hot outside?

28 Re-making practices and places
This year, the MOE aims to expand the movement from the business scene to everyday lifestyles, using various knowledge and ideas, to stay comfortable in 28 C rooms. the ministry estimated that the campaign resulted in a 1,720,000-ton reduction in CO2 emission, the equivalent volume of CO2 emitted by about 3.85 million households for one month. Cool Biz: not wearing suit and tie

29 Re-arranging the relation between body, clothing, climate and building technologies

30 Re-inventing practices?
time Before air conditioning Air conditioning Beyond air conditioning

31 dynamics infrastructure practice There are lots more concepts on offer for policy makers willing to go beyond the ABC regime system transition

32 These ideas also imply that:
Theories of practice suggests that policy shapes what counts as normal practice (and hence sustainability) by: Contributing to the circulation and distribution of elements Infrastructures Ideas and ideologies Accumulations of competence Defining valued projects – bundles and complexes of practice Shaping relations between practice – e.g. competition for time and other resources These ideas also imply that: Policy is inside and not outside the system it seeks to change. Transitions in practice are not processes over which any one set of actors has control.

33 Disadvantages of practice theory for policy
No 1. recognises that policy has a part to play in maintaining unsustainable ways of life No 2. highlights basic questions about how demand is made No 3. points to material inequalities and differences No 4. lessons are not transferable, each practice is different No 5. acknowledges limits of agency No 6. creates space for debate about the scale and direction of change

34 How to ignite social knowledge around climate change?
Ideas that don’t fit the ABC model are not useful How to ignite social knowledge around climate change? “our understanding .... of the interaction between policy and social practice is as yet so limited that it would be difficult to see how policy could make use of this position – beyond taking social norms a bit more seriously as influences on behaviour” (Jackson 2005: 55).

35 How social science researchers respond to questions that are not of their own making
Landscape of ideas: challenging Populated by academics and non-academics alike; currents of debate, force-fields of influence; change is endogenous; interaction is unavoidable yet structured Chameleon: fitting in Coping with external pressures, managing to blend in, to travel and to survive


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