Journal of the ...Volume 11 Supplementary i... A people-centre...
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Research Article

A people-centred approach is needed to meet net zero goals

orcid-imageCaroline Verfuerthemail-imageCaroline Verfuerth

Dr Caroline Verfuerth is a Research and Knowledge Exchange Associate at the Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations (CAST) based at both Cardiff University and the University of Bath. Her research focuses on low-carbon lifestyles, sustainable diets and food systems, and visioning research methods. She is interested in the question “How can we create a low-carbon and biodiversity rich future that enhances people’s health & wellbeing?”.

email-image verfuerthc@cardiff.ac.uk

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orcid-imageChristina DemskiChristina Demski

Dr Christina Demski is a Reader at the Department of Psychology, University of Bath, and Deputy Director of the Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations (CAST). Her research explores issues within risk perception and communication, specifically public engagement with complex socio-technical and environmental issues.

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orcid-imageStuart Capstick§Stuart Capstick§§

Dr Stuart Capstick is a Senior Research Fellow at Cardiff University and Deputy Director of the Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations (CAST). Stuart researches public understanding of climate change and ways to engage people with the transformations needed to achieve emissions reduction.

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orcid-imageLorraine WhitmarshLorraine Whitmarsh

Professor Lorraine Whitmarsh, MBE, is the director of the Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations (CAST) and based at the Department of Psychology at the University of Bath. Her research projects have included studies of energy efficiency behaviours, waste reduction and carrier bag reuse, perceptions of smart technologies and electric vehicles, low-carbon lifestyles, and responses to climate change.

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orcid-imageWouter Poortinga**Wouter Poortinga****

Professor Wouter Poortinga is co-director of the Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations (CAST) and based at the School of Psychology at Cardiff University. He is an expert in research on human-environment interactions, and has research interests in a wide range of topics, including environmental risk perception, sustainable behaviours and lifestyles, and environmental determinants of health and wellbeing.

Abstract

To meet net zero goals, more drastic action is needed than is acknowledged by most policymakers, posing a major social challenge that will impact many aspects of people’s lives. This paper emphasises the importance of a people-centred approach for policy makers to achieve net zero effectively and rapidly while being alert to citizens’ needs and concerns. We advocate a comprehensive and inclusive public engagement strategy, discussing insights on four key questions to guide policymakers in developing successful engagement strategies. (1) How do climate-friendly social transformations happen?, (2) How can behavioural change for net zero be supported? (3) How can people be involved in decision-making on net zero?, and (4) How does climate change intersect with other societal challenges? We conclude with clear policy recommendations: government leadership at all levels (national, devolved, local), underpinned by a public engagement strategy for net zero, is needed in addition to fair and consistent policies that are transparent about the scale of action needed.

Keywords

People-centred approachpublic engagementbehaviour changegovernment
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Published on: 28 September 2023
Volume: 11
Issue: Supplementary issue 4
Article ID: 097
Pages:97 - 124
Copyright statement
© The author(s) 2023.
Cite this article
Verfuerth with Demski, Capstick, Whitmarsh, Poortinga (2023), ' A people-centred approach is needed to meet net zero goals ', Journal of the British Academy, 11(Supplementary issue 4): 097 https://doi.org/10.5871/jba/011s4.097

Thematic article

Normal View Dyslexic View

A people-centred approach is needed to meet net zero goals

orcid-imageCaroline Verfuerthemail-imageCaroline Verfuerth

Dr Caroline Verfuerth is a Research and Knowledge Exchange Associate at the Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations (CAST) based at both Cardiff University and the University of Bath. Her research focuses on low-carbon lifestyles, sustainable diets and food systems, and visioning research methods. She is interested in the question “How can we create a low-carbon and biodiversity rich future that enhances people’s health & wellbeing?”.

email-image verfuerthc@cardiff.ac.uk

,
orcid-imageChristina DemskiChristina Demski

Dr Christina Demski is a Reader at the Department of Psychology, University of Bath, and Deputy Director of the Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations (CAST). Her research explores issues within risk perception and communication, specifically public engagement with complex socio-technical and environmental issues.

,
orcid-imageStuart Capstick§Stuart Capstick§§

Dr Stuart Capstick is a Senior Research Fellow at Cardiff University and Deputy Director of the Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations (CAST). Stuart researches public understanding of climate change and ways to engage people with the transformations needed to achieve emissions reduction.

,
orcid-imageLorraine WhitmarshLorraine Whitmarsh

Professor Lorraine Whitmarsh, MBE, is the director of the Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations (CAST) and based at the Department of Psychology at the University of Bath. Her research projects have included studies of energy efficiency behaviours, waste reduction and carrier bag reuse, perceptions of smart technologies and electric vehicles, low-carbon lifestyles, and responses to climate change.

,
orcid-imageWouter Poortinga**Wouter Poortinga****

Professor Wouter Poortinga is co-director of the Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations (CAST) and based at the School of Psychology at Cardiff University. He is an expert in research on human-environment interactions, and has research interests in a wide range of topics, including environmental risk perception, sustainable behaviours and lifestyles, and environmental determinants of health and wellbeing.