Recent literature is increasingly highlighting the role of individual behaviours for tackling societal challenges like Climate Change. Indeed, the largest source of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is related to electricity and heat production, with residential and commercial buildings being responsible for 60% of global electricity demand. At the same time, the agri-food system is also very energy and carbon intensive and it is responsible for a considerate amount of GHG emissions. Individual behaviours related to electricity, heat, and food consumption may have strong impacts on GHG emissions opening interesting opportunities for climate change mitigation among end-users. In this direction, this paper aims at investigating the impact (if any) of two important 2015 events on consumer behaviour and awareness about the climate and environmental impacts of their everyday choices. Indeed, in current society, media coverage of events has shown to be relevant in affecting consumer perceptions and behaviour. The events analysed are: the release of Pope Francis' encyclical ‘Laudato si’ - On Care For Our Common Home’ about environmental issues and climate change; and the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) with the signature of the Paris Agreement. Data were collected via interviews with a sample of consumers in the context of Milan, a large European city. Data were analysed by means of descriptive statistics and ordinal regression models. Results indicate that such events have had an effect, mostly on people that have a positive attitude towards such events but were not so much aware about the related discussions beforehand. Policy implications highlight the role of opinion leaders in engaging the segments of population that are not already proactive on the matter, which is indeed the target of well-aimed policies.

Do major climate change-related public events have an impact on consumer choices?

Ricci, Elena Claire
;
2020

Abstract

Recent literature is increasingly highlighting the role of individual behaviours for tackling societal challenges like Climate Change. Indeed, the largest source of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is related to electricity and heat production, with residential and commercial buildings being responsible for 60% of global electricity demand. At the same time, the agri-food system is also very energy and carbon intensive and it is responsible for a considerate amount of GHG emissions. Individual behaviours related to electricity, heat, and food consumption may have strong impacts on GHG emissions opening interesting opportunities for climate change mitigation among end-users. In this direction, this paper aims at investigating the impact (if any) of two important 2015 events on consumer behaviour and awareness about the climate and environmental impacts of their everyday choices. Indeed, in current society, media coverage of events has shown to be relevant in affecting consumer perceptions and behaviour. The events analysed are: the release of Pope Francis' encyclical ‘Laudato si’ - On Care For Our Common Home’ about environmental issues and climate change; and the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) with the signature of the Paris Agreement. Data were collected via interviews with a sample of consumers in the context of Milan, a large European city. Data were analysed by means of descriptive statistics and ordinal regression models. Results indicate that such events have had an effect, mostly on people that have a positive attitude towards such events but were not so much aware about the related discussions beforehand. Policy implications highlight the role of opinion leaders in engaging the segments of population that are not already proactive on the matter, which is indeed the target of well-aimed policies.
Behavioral change Electricity consumption Food choice Climate Change awareness Media coverage Consumer awareness Sustainability International events COP21 Encyclical Pro-environmental behaviour Public opinion Interviews
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1016948
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