Innovative European research project uses Climate Puzzle to better understand citizen’s views on lifestyle changes in line with the 1.5°C-target of the Paris Agreement.
31st Januar 2023
A Climate Puzzle, first developed in Finland, is being used by researchers from Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Spain, and Sweden to better understand European citizens’ views on lifestyle changes and inform policy recommendations.
A systematic literature review was done to collect low-carbon lifestyle options and structural enablers and barriers at the household level. The lifestyle options were then quantified and used to design a puzzle game with country-specific information regarding individual emission reduction potential.
More than 100 citizens participated in the first round of the project’s “Citizen Thinking Labs”, where they were invited to use the puzzle to reflect on and discuss selected low-carbon lifestyle options. The team of EU researchers are now assessing these valuable insights into how changes in individual behaviour and structural conditions can contribute to the pursuit of the climate targets of the Paris Agreement.
LIFESTYLE CHANGE TO STOP CLIMATE CHANGE
Doris Fuchs, Project Coordinator and Professor at the University of Münster:
“Even if it is not sufficient, individual behaviour change is necessary if we are to keep global warming to 1.5°C. Hence the importance of a project like this to better understand citizens’ views and guide policy-making”.
Michael Lettenmeier, Director at D-mat:
“While we had developed previous versions, this is the first time we are using the Climate Puzzle in a wider European context, proving gamification is very useful for approaching sustainability targets”.
“Considering the very positive feedback, we are already thinking about the next steps to use the Climate Puzzle as a wider education tool”.
Lena Domröse, Senior Manager at adelphi:
“In the course of our project, we will better understand household’s acceptance of lifestyle changes, the probability of their implementation and policy measures needed to help implement them”.
“The results of the citizen thinking labs will inform our further research into pathways and strategies to 1.5° Lifestyles”.
SCIENCE TO GUIDE POLICY
The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) concluded in their latest Special Report on Global Warming that limiting global temperature increase before 1.5°C warming will be impossible without demand-side actions and lifestyle changes.
The four-year project EU 1.5° Lifestyles started in 2021 and is part of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program. It involves researchers, practitioners as well as advisory board members from Finland, Hungary, Japan, Latvia, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and Germany.
FURTHER PROJECT INFORMATION
The project’s main aim is to support the mainstreaming of low-carbon lifestyles in line with the aspirational 1.5°C climate target and to facilitate the transformations sought by the Paris Agreement and the EU Green Deal. For this purpose, the project develops guidance for policymakers, intermediary actors and individuals based on scientific evidence on how lifestyle choices affect individual carbon footprints, and how political, economic, and social contexts enable or constrain shifts to sustainable lifestyle options.
The uniqueness of the project approach is that it recognises the important role of politics and policy in facilitating household and lifestyle changes. It demonstrates the potential contributions of individuals and households and clearly articulates where limited agency by households requires structural changes and political and stakeholder intervention. In doing so, the EU 1.5° Lifestyles connects analyses of lifestyle perspectives at the household level in the four realms of nutrition, mobility, housing, and leisure with inquiries into relevant political, technological, economic and social structures at various levels of governance.
To mainstream 1.5 degrees lifestyles, the project develops practical recommendations, which can be integrated into everyday life as well as into EU and national policies. Along the way, the project provides stakeholders at national and EU levels with
- a quantification of climate and health impacts on shifting lifestyles in the EU and within three additional G20 countries (Indonesia, South Africa, Mexico);
- an overview of potentials for and barriers to change at the household level, including options for transitioning to 1.5 degrees lifestyles as well as associated potential risks and opportunities;
- an assessment of structural barriers and enablers for systemic transformations necessary for 1.5 degrees lifestyles;
- assessments of scenarios for economic and welfare systems, and business models compatible with 1.5 degrees lifestyles.
To co-produce outputs and involve target group members, several stakeholder workshops are held, and instructive communication materials are disseminated, including concrete guidance for both citizens and decision-makers on transitioning to 1.5 degrees lifestyles.
HIGH-QUALITY IMAGES TO ILLUSTRATE THIS PR CAN BE FOUND HERE.
You can download the pdf of the Press Release here.