Cambridge Sustainability Commission to focus on sustainable behaviour


Alliance magazine


KR Foundation, together with the Cambridge Sustainability Commission from the Cambridge University Press, is launching a project to help inform innovative, effective, evidence-based projects and interventions that will bring sustainable behaviour into mainstream thinking on climate change.

The commission, which is funded by KR Foundation, is called ‘Cambridge Sustainability Commission on Scaling Sustainable Behaviour Change: State of Knowledge & Challenges for Societal System Transformations’ and will be published in Global Sustainability, the Cambridge University Press’ Open Access journal.

‘Changing the demand for unsustainable goods and services and laying out clear and desirable pathways for sustainable lifestyles is critical to reaching the goals of the Paris Agreement,’ said Executive Director at KR Foundation, Brian Valbjørn Sørensen. ‘This commission will explore evidence-based solutions in the sustainable behaviour field and ensure they are accessible to philanthropy and decision-makers.’

The commission’s research will draw on a range of different perspectives on the political economy of consumption, the sociology of practices, and the economics and psychology of behavioural change.

Household consumption accounts for 72 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, KR Foundation noted, yet policies have tended to focus on technological and financial interventions. There is a wealth of evidence to suggest that a critical mass of citizens is ready for both voluntary individual change and top-down policy action towards sustainable ways of living, it said. The Foundation has therefore been focusing on a behaviour through its Sustainable Behaviour programme, established in 2016, and hopes that the new commission’s work will help inform the programme.

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