Net Zero: A review of public attitudes & behaviours

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Societal transformation, investment, and behaviour change over the next decade will be required if we are to address the climate and ecological emergency effectively. Yet, to date, the focus of climate policy globally has been far more on technological innovation than on public engagement or behaviour change. This literature review was conducted by researchers at the Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations (CAST) and the University of Bath for Our 2050 World, commissioned by BSI. Our 2050 World is a collaboration between international organizations and standards bodies to help drive the transformational action required to achieve net zero. This literature review sought to address the following research questions:

1. What are public attitudes and behaviours (including those of indigenous peoples) to climate crisis mitigation; how have these changed; and how are they likely to change?

2. How do attitudes align or vary between different demographic groups (e.g. ethnicity, age, gender, income), countries/cultures, or other factors (such as values, ideology, faith/religion)?

3. What are public attitudes and expectations of governments and businesses on realising net zero?

4. Does the public think it can influence state and non-state actors? Are there groups who feel they have no influence?

5. Are there differences in the views of the public as activists, private consumers, employees, (or other roles)?

6. What are the key challenges to, and drivers of, mobilising the public to influence change?

7. What are the research gaps and further research needs?
Original languageEnglish
PublisherOur World 2050
Number of pages43
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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