Behavioural policy ‘nudges’ to encourage woodland creation for climate change mitigation
Lead Author: Darren Moseley
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Lead Author: Darren Moseley
Evidence indicates that woodland creation is generally a cost-effective method of climate change mitigation, when compared with a range of alternatives. However, engaging landowners and land managers in woodland creation schemes can sometimes prove difficult, and this affects prospects for meeting national woodland planting targets and associated climate change mitigation objectives. Although reluctance to plant woodland is often attributed to the low financial attractiveness of such schemes, wider factors – including long-held cultural views on changing land use and perceptions of the urgency of tackling climate change – can also be important. Insights from behavioural economics indicate that individuals are influenced by a number of cognitive factors in making decisions and that certain ‘nudges’ may help direct choices in a particular direction. Nudges are ways of influencing people’s choices without limiting the options, or appreciably altering their relative costs. There is a range of nudge type approaches that could be used to encourage woodland creation for climate change mitigation. These include addressing perceived barriers to woodland creation, encouraging private woodland creation by highlighting successes and by the public sector leading by example. Implementation of nudge type approaches should be tailored towards different types of landowners and land managers, who may vary in their attitudes, motivations and willingness to plant trees.
A related Research Report is also available – Behavioural policy ‘nudges’ to encourage woodland creation for climate change mitigation.
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