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Addressing climate change with behavioural science: A global intervention tournament in 63 countries

In this article, an international team of scientists, including Jaroslaw Kantorowicz, created a 'Climate Intervention Webapp' that can help increase climate awareness and action around the world by highlighting messaging themes that have proven effective in experimental research.

Jaroslaw Kantorowicz and more than 250 other researchers
07 February 2024
Read the full article here

Effectively reducing climate change requires marked, global behavior change. However, it is unclear which strategies are most likely to motivate people to change their climate beliefs and behaviors. Here, more than 250 authors tested 11 expert-crowdsourced interventions on four climate mitigation outcomes: beliefs, policy support, information sharing intention, and an effortful tree-planting behavioral task.

Across 59,440 participants from 63 countries, the interventions’ effectiveness was small, largely limited to nonclimate skeptics, and differed across outcomes: Beliefs were strengthened mostly by decreasing psychological distance (by 2.3%), policy support by writing a letter to a future-generation member (2.6%), information sharing by negative emotion induction (12.1%), and no intervention increased the more effortful behaviour—several interventions even reduced tree planting. Last, the effects of each intervention differed depending on people’s initial climate beliefs. These findings suggest that the impact of behavioural climate interventions varies across audiences and target behaviors.

The 'Climate Intervention Webapp' was built based upon this study. You can also watch this YouTube video with the summary of results.

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