Article

The complex relationship between households’ climate change concerns and their water and energy mitigation behaviour

Céline Nauges et Sarah Ann Wheeler

Résumé

Climate change will require commitment by all levels of the community, but there is still uncertainty surrounding the best way to influence individual mitigation behaviour. This study analyses household survey data on water and energy climate change mitigation behaviour from eleven OECD countries in 2011, and provides new evidence of a form of maladaptation, namely a complex rebound relationship between climate change attitudes and mitigation behaviour. First, results confirm other studies that climate change concerns and economic incentives (in terms of electricity and water charges) positively influence mitigation behaviour. Second, we find that the more costly, in terms of time and/or money, are the mitigation actions of a household, the more likely undertaking such actions directly lessens respondents’ climate change concerns. This negative rebound effect is more likely to occur in ‘environmentally-motivated’ households, who are more likely to have stated they believe human actions can help mitigate climate change. Conversely, economic incentives in driving energy and water pro-environmental behaviour work better in non-environmentallymotivated households. This highlights that a portfolio of policies is needed to drive mitigation behaviour.

Mots-clés

economic incentives; rebound effect; mitigation behaviour; climate change attitudes;

Remplace

Céline Nauges et Sarah Ann Wheeler, « The complex relationship between households’ climate change concerns and their water and energy mitigation behaviour », TSE Working Paper, n° 15-611, novembre 2015, révision juillet 2016.

Publié dans

Ecological Economics, vol. 141, novembre 2017, p. 87–94