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RESOLVE Seminar: discussion with Dr Nick Eyre (Oxford University ECI) and Simon Roberts OBE (Centre for Sustainable Energy), 31.10.2011 RESEARCH ON LIFESTYLES,

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Presentation on theme: "RESOLVE Seminar: discussion with Dr Nick Eyre (Oxford University ECI) and Simon Roberts OBE (Centre for Sustainable Energy), 31.10.2011 RESEARCH ON LIFESTYLES,"— Presentation transcript:

1 RESOLVE Seminar: discussion with Dr Nick Eyre (Oxford University ECI) and Simon Roberts OBE (Centre for Sustainable Energy), 31.10.2011 RESEARCH ON LIFESTYLES, SOCIETAL VALUES AND ENVIRONMENT IAN CHRISTIE, CENTRE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL STRATEGY

2 The seminar RESOLVE –The programme and its goals –Research highlights –Some reflections on RESOLVE –Responses from Nick and Simon –Open discussion

3 ESRC programme RESOLVE: aims of the research The overall aim of RESOLVE is to develop a rigorous understanding of the links between lifestyle, societal values and the environment. RESOLVE will work to provide robust, evidence-based advice to policy-makers in the UK and elsewhere who are seeking to understand and to influence the behaviours and practices of ‘energy consumers’. Director: Prof. Tim Jackson CES, University of Surrey Funding: ESRC

4 home insulation energy efficient lights turning down the thermostat buying local re-using and recycling flying less cycling more… from changing the way we live to keeping out the draughts.. In search of ‘energy consumers’

5 working out which aspects of our lives the impacts arise from; addressing the social psychology of lifestyle and lifestyle change; understanding the social and cultural context of modern lives and values; identifying the potential for lifestyle change; identifying the impacts of change on lifestyle; interdisciplinary work exploring the implications for policy Research Challenges Developing an evidence base

6 Lifestyle Scenarios (H1) Governance and Policy (H2) Carbon Mapping (V1) Psychology of Energy (V2) Sociology of Lifestyles (V3) RESOLVE Themes

7 RESOLVE in Pictures V1. Lifestyle MappingV2. Social PsychologyV3. Sociology of Lifestyles H1. Lifestyle Scenarios H2. Governance and Policy

8 develop and test a robust, pragmatic ‘carbon mapping’ framework; explore patterns and trends in ‘direct’ and ‘indirect’ energy demand in different lifestyle sectors and segments; decompose structural, technical and socio-demographic patterns and trends; explore the impact of fiscal interventions on final demand V1. Lifestyle Mapping

9 understand the social psychology of lifestyle and lifestyle change; explore normative and affective motivations in energy-related behaviours and practices; elaborate and test a ‘threatened identity’ model of change and resistance to change; test the success of different ‘interventions’ in changing energy-related behaviours V2. Social Psychology

10 understand the social and cultural context of modern lives and values; explore the social demographics (gender, class, age, ethnicity etc) of energy lifestyles; examine the socio-cultural construction of modern identity and lifestyle narratives; elaborate and test a ‘threatened identities/meanings’ model of change and resistance to change. V3. Sociology of Lifestyles

11 H1. Lifestyle Scenarios Proof that the world is getting warmer… …..and more fashion conscious explore emerging trends in direct and indirect energy consumption, as well as in energy-related lifestyles, attitudes and behaviours; ‘longitudinal’ empirical case studies in lifestyle change: monitoring energy/carbon, psychological and social variables evaluate and test a range of ‘sustainable lifestyle scenarios’;

12 H2. Policy and Governance explore historical and emerging trends in environmental, energy and social policy in the UK and abroad; examine and test policy options to foster sustainable energy behaviours and practices; research the drivers of (and limits to) success in community-based social change; elaborate long-term governance implications of the climate challenge.

13 RESOLVE Research Highlights Mapping and Scenarios (V1/H1) –modelling frameworks quasi-multi-regional IO econometric model SELMA: Surrey Environmental Lifestyle Mapping Analysis integration of these models in summer 2009 to support scenario generation for GHG emissions linked to lifestyle patterns structural time series modelling: economic/societal factors in consumer demand small area estimation –applications Kyoto progress / policies for Copenhagen process carbon attributed to functional needs study of rebound effects exploration of consumer trends household level tools –scenario development reference scenario scenario framework

14 RESOLVE Research Highlights Psychology and Sociology (V2/V3) –Quantitative studies Food and identity: meat consumption Young people: wellbeing and materialism Mindfulness and consumerism 21 st Century Living BarEnergy –Qualitative studies Sustainable Lifestylers Life histories Everyday life and the Environment (ELATE) Demanding goods: producers and consumers Case studies of committed groups

15 RESOLVE Research Highlights Policy and Governance (H2) –Policy UK energy policy historical review international policy : Copenhagen applications –Community Engagement 3 local authorities Local Authorities and Communities conference Community Action on Climate Change (Peters, M et al eds., Low Carbon Communities, E Elgar, 2010) Energy Policy (special issue 2009) Lifestyles and consumption –Quantitative (21 st Century living) –Qualitative (ELATE) –Econometric (consumer trends) –Consumption perspective on carbon emissions

16 RESOLVE: Some links to policy and practice Sustainable Consumption and Production / Pro-Environmental behaviours / SLRG - DEFRA BERR/OFGEM – Smart Metering SDC – Prosperity without Growth House of Lords: report on behaviour change and policy Behavioural Insights team in Cabinet Office Rebound effects: SLRG

17 RESOLVE: some reflections Lifestyles are more than the sum of consumption practices Lifestyles are about the patterns of feedback and influence between identity, values, life- stories, life-stages, practices and habits and the wider systems in which we are embedded So...‘Nudge’ is necessary - but very far from sufficient Individualised approach to ‘behaviour change’ won’t work

18 making ends meet; managing the household; locked into routines; building relationships; anxious about status; hungry for experience; pursuing dreams and aspirations; searching for meaning helping to ‘create the social world and find within it a creditable place’ Lifestyles: stories, settings, values


20 Challenges for policy and alternative ‘lifestyle support systems’ Lock-in to systems of provision Rebound effects Escalation effects Identity threats Income and distributional issues in low-carbon shifts Tim Jackson: –‘Structure beats agency’ –‘Scale overwhelms efficiency’

21 Challenges for policy and alternative ‘lifestyle support systems’ Policies need to be applied consistently at multiple levels: new structures, at scale, to support agency Structural signals: energy and basic systems of provision; distributional fairness Business incentives - support for sustainable business models Community level - new forms of energy governance and investment Households and citizens: beyond Nudge / information Mindfulness, moments of change, rewards, recognition

22 Building on RESOLVE SLRG and SPRG Lifestyles, practices DEFRA and ESRC funding Rebound effects Lifestyles and moments of transition as points for interventions Community-based schemes for sustainable living

23 23 Thanks for your attention And thanks to all the RESOLVE researchers and administrators See RESOLVE conference presentations from June 2011: ces/2011 ces/2011 23

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