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How can understanding behaviours contribute to climate change?

There is increasing interest in designing policy interventions to sustain positive individual or societal behaviours and to encourage behaviour change which tackles environmental issues including climate change.

Behaviourally focused approaches will often provide a broader mix of policy options than regulation and financial incentives.

Long tradition of influencing behaviours

Policy-makers have long sought to influence human behaviour for the benefit of individuals, society, and the environment. Traditionally, policy instruments have been limited to legislation, regulation, and financial incentives or disincentives – so called ‘carrot and stick’ approaches. However, in certain contexts these traditional measures can be viewed as ineffective, and sometimes have only limited benefits.

Alternatives using behavioural approaches are increasingly being developed to provide a broader mix of policy options. These respond to the complex nature of values, attitudes and motivations which drive particular choices and actions. This complexity presents a key challenge in encouraging specific types of behaviour related to trees and forests.

About the series

Aimed at practitioners, the factsheets showcase the breadth of research carried out by Forest Research, sometimes over decades, into how trees and forests are facing the challenges of climate change, and actionable insights into how trees and woodlands can help mitigate the effects of climate change.

Publication type
Climate change series
Publication owner
Forest Research

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