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Climate change

Can Behavioural Science be used to deal with climate change?

How can nudge help us make green choices?

Behavioural Science offers a tool for policy makers to design more effective interventions aimed at identifying micro- and macro-solutions to problems such as energy efficiency or climate change

Changing the physical context in which a given decision is made, for example, is one aspect of behavioural design that can also be used in the field of environmental policy. The choice architect who designs greener policies takes this context into account and tries to improve behaviour by acting on its very characteristics. Nudges, which are inexpensive and more socially acceptable compared to traditional instruments such as environmental taxation, are useful tools to accompany traditional public policies aiming to change citizens’ behaviour towards climate change.

Behavioural science is now, and will increasingly be, crucial in the human response to climate change. Natural science has done its job in alerting us all to the rise in global temperature. The problem now is people's behaviour. Policy must start by helping citizens to understand that they need to worry intensely about what is happening to the planet. Warwick's recent work has shown that even in Europe there is currently still comparatively little concern about climate change.

The University of Warwick is leading the research in behavioural science and climate policy. With our researchers investigating individual attitudes to climate change and combining interdisciplinary approaches to tackle one of the worlds most urgent crisis.

Find out more about Professor Andrew Oswald's research on COVID-19