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Public engagement & behaviour change

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Public engagement & behaviour change

  1. 1. The role of the individual & the role of behaviour change in meeting climate change targets/sustainable development Dr. Richard Bull 27 th Feb 2012
  2. 2. <ul><li>DE MONTFORT UNIVERSITY </li></ul><ul><li>World-class university situated in Leicester, with more than 18,000 students and 3,000 staff, five faculties offering around 400 courses and an annual turnover in the region: £132.5 million </li></ul><ul><li>INSTITUTE OF ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT </li></ul><ul><li>Leading research institute conducting innovative and groundbreaking research into renewable energy, sustainable development and public engagement. Also run 3 MSc courses. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Outline <ul><li>Perceiving the problem: energy & climate change </li></ul><ul><li>The role of public engagement </li></ul><ul><li>2 examples: macro & micro </li></ul><ul><li>The way forward: whose behaviour are we trying to change? </li></ul>
  4. 5. <ul><li>By its nature, ‘energy’ is an abstract and invisible force that is conceptualised or commonly defined in a number of different ways, for example as a commodity, as a social necessity, as an ecological resource, or as a strategic material.* </li></ul><ul><li>*Burgess & Nye (2008), Re-materialising energy use through transparent monitoring systems, Energy Policy </li></ul>
  5. 6. Climate gate
  6. 7. Effects of Climate gate (1)
  7. 8. Effects of Climate (2)
  8. 9. Perceiving climate change (1) <ul><li>Pawlik (1991) identified five factors that impede ability to perceive climate change. If it can’t be easily perceived, then it may also be difficult to understand. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>stimulus that is hard to identify with our sensory organs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>lengthy delay between cause and effect </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>uncertainty over probability of climate change occurring </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>distance between actors and victims </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>perceived cost-effectiveness (or otherwise) of relevant behaviours </li></ul></ul>Lesson 2.3
  9. 10. Perceiving climate change - Hulme (2) <ul><li>We must hear the discordant voices – climate change means different things to different people: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A battleground between different philosophies & practices of science </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A justification for commodification of the atmosphere </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An inspiration for a global network of activism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A threat to ethnic, national or global security </li></ul></ul>
  10. 11. <ul><li>Rather than asking ‘how do we solve climate change?’ . . . </li></ul><ul><li> . . . how does the idea of climate change alter the way we arrive at and achieve our personal aspirations and our collective social goals? </li></ul>
  11. 12. Climate Change Perception <ul><li>‘ The problem’ here isn’t climate change itself, but public understanding and acceptance of climate change: </li></ul><ul><li>Kempton (1993) suggests four characteristics of climate change that influence how (and if) people understand it: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Climate change is long-term </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The science is complex </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Causes and effects of climate change are largely imperceptible on a day-to-day basis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Effects are distant from causes in time and space </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Combined effect makes it hard for non-experts to easily understand climate change. </li></ul>
  12. 13. <ul><li>Facts do not determine behaviour so much as perceptions about facts </li></ul><ul><li>Niemeyer et al 2005 </li></ul>
  13. 14. <ul><li>Facts are mediated by a range of actors </li></ul><ul><li>Influenced by public understanding of science & institutional settings </li></ul><ul><li>Role of media (social amplification of risk) </li></ul><ul><li>Provision of information and </li></ul><ul><li>Trust – who do we trust? </li></ul>
  14. 15. Risk Society? <ul><li>Jaeger et al ( 2001: 13) observed that our “contemporary world is clearly stretching the social fabric of modernity,” </li></ul><ul><li>Risk Society , Beck (1992): the mark of our society is no longer social class or wealth but the global distribution of risk. Risk is the consequence of modernization (scientific and industrial development) with distinct characteristics: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Risks are not limited by time (future generations are affected) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Risks do not recognise national boundaries. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No one can be held accountable for risks. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It is almost impossible to compensate for lives touched by hazards or risk. </li></ul></ul>
  15. 16. Social Construction of Risk <ul><li>For many, risk is socially constructed, a fluid and relative concept rather than an objective, measurable one (Wynne 1992, 1996; Irwin 1995; Klinke and Renn 2002). </li></ul><ul><li>Perception and trust are seen as critical to understanding risk. Whilst society may be characterised as a ‘risk culture’, it has little to do with the actual existence of danger (Giddens 1991). </li></ul>
  16. 17. <ul><li>One of the reasons we disagree about climate change is because we evaluate risks differently. </li></ul><ul><li>M. Hulme 2009 </li></ul>
  17. 27. <ul><li>“ Climate change means different things to different people because we are all exposed to a variety of messages about climate change and we each interpret them according to our own unique background, our knowledge, experience, values and circumstances” </li></ul><ul><li>What’s yours? </li></ul>
  18. 29. Risk Communication <ul><li>All we have to do is to get the numbers right </li></ul><ul><li>All we have to do is tell them the numbers </li></ul><ul><li>All we have to do is explain what we mean by the numbers </li></ul><ul><li>All we have to do is show them they’ve accepted similar risks in the past </li></ul><ul><li>All we have to do is show them that it’s a good deal for them </li></ul><ul><li>All we have to do is treat them nice </li></ul><ul><li>All we have to do is make them partners </li></ul><ul><li>All of the above </li></ul>Technocratic Analytic-Deliberative
  19. 30. <ul><li>Sherry Arnstein, </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;A Ladder of Citizen Participation,&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>JAIP, Vol. 35, No. 4, July 1969, pp. 216-224. </li></ul>
  20. 31. Talking: One way forward <ul><li>A deliberative approach to climate change to communication changes the balance of power between scientist and citizen . . . the citizen is able to bring into the open the role of individually held beliefs and values. (M Hulme 2009) </li></ul>
  21. 32. <ul><li>But can talking bring about change? </li></ul>
  22. 34. <ul><li>But can talking bring about change? </li></ul>
  23. 36. The role of public participation <ul><li>Promotes democracy </li></ul><ul><li>Institutional legitimacy </li></ul><ul><li>Procedural fairness </li></ul><ul><li>Integration of social values into technical decisions </li></ul><ul><li>Public trust and confidence in decisions and decision makers </li></ul><ul><li>Social learning </li></ul>
  24. 37. Arguments for ‘deliberative’ processes <ul><li>Decision-making process is enhanced </li></ul><ul><li>Better decisions are made </li></ul><ul><li>Decisions are more legitimate </li></ul><ul><li>Lay judgements about risk are as sound as those experts </li></ul><ul><li>A better decision is reached through effective lay participation in risk decisions </li></ul><ul><li>Public involvement increase public support for developments </li></ul>
  25. 38. Practically speaking . . . <ul><li>Clear structure </li></ul><ul><li>Agreed agenda </li></ul><ul><li>Representative and inclusive participation </li></ul><ul><li>Competent technical information </li></ul><ul><li>Debate </li></ul><ul><li>Evidence of impact of the process on the decision (Petts 2001) </li></ul>
  26. 39. Critics of public participation <ul><li>A better decision for whom? </li></ul><ul><li>Seeking consensus may silence voices </li></ul><ul><li>What is the role of the expert? </li></ul>
  27. 40. Beyond information provision <ul><li>There is a need for a different approach recognising the complexity of user perceptions and understandings (Niemeyer, Petts et al. 2005); </li></ul><ul><li>Combining a bottom-up and top-down approach in order to minimise mixed messages (Owens 2000); </li></ul><ul><li>The value of public engagement (Burgess and Clark 2009; Ockwell, Whitmarsh et al. 2009). </li></ul><ul><li>The importance of context. </li></ul>
  28. 41. Two examples of engagement & behaviour change <ul><li>(1) Household Waste </li></ul><ul><li>(2) Energy in buildings </li></ul>
  29. 42. Household waste - What did Hampshire do? <ul><li>Ran out of landfill </li></ul><ul><li>Experienced a failure </li></ul><ul><li>Decided to ‘seriously’ engage the community </li></ul><ul><li>on their new waste strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Formed a partnership </li></ul><ul><li>Insisted on </li></ul><ul><li>further public engagement </li></ul>
  30. 43. A relational framework for learning
  31. 44. Learning – Behaviour change <ul><li>Transformative learning (Mezirow) </li></ul><ul><li>Reflexivity (Kolb et al) </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge Transfer (Nonaka) </li></ul>A reflexive process dependent on the participation of all the relevant actors to facilitate social interaction and ensure the sharing of knowledge and experience with the potential to lead to a change in behaviour.
  32. 45. Partnership <ul><li>Emotional commitment </li></ul><ul><li>Agreed shared vision </li></ul><ul><li>Common objectives. </li></ul>Partnership denotes a shared emotional commitment to work together, steered and managed by people with vision.
  33. 46. Engagement <ul><li>“ If learning is to refer to some enhanced competence for action and self-understanding . . . then the simple existence of any interaction will not constitute learning”. (Forester 1985) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Persuasion rather than coercion, manipulation or deception” (Dryzek 2000) </li></ul>
  34. 47. Reflections from Newhaven and Marchwood <ul><li>Dealt with fears and concerns </li></ul><ul><li>Affected traffic routes and design </li></ul><ul><li>Raised awareness of the waste problem </li></ul><ul><li>Surrounding context is very important </li></ul>
  35. 48. <ul><li>“ I have learnt a tremendous amount, which I would expect to apply in the future…I have learnt how little I know” </li></ul><ul><li>“ (I) see the merits of minimisation even more. But I have also learnt that there are limits to recycling and recovery. I am now prepared to sign-up to small scale incineration” </li></ul><ul><li>“ My local context understanding has increased significantly” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I was totally environmentally un-alert and have learnt so much” </li></ul>
  36. 49. <ul><li>We’ve [also] put restrictions on lorry movements, not before 6 or after 8 at night I think. Get involved and influence it. The community can influence things – had we been foolish enough to refuse to take part and merely try and oppose it, then the new incinerator would be over there. </li></ul>
  37. 50. The effects of new modes of governance on learning <ul><li>Partnership working is capable of achievements that would not be feasible if individual partners worked in isolation. (Frederickson 2007) </li></ul><ul><li>Technical benefits to management of waste </li></ul><ul><li>Transfer of knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>De-politicised waste </li></ul><ul><li>Healthy context/environment for engagement and behaviour change (at both individual and organisational level ) </li></ul>
  38. 51. Cyber Display <ul><li>Energy Cities represents more than 1000 local authorities from 30 countries, mainly municipalities </li></ul><ul><li>The Display Campaign is a voluntary scheme municipalities can adopt to demonstrate a commitment to reducing energy consumption of public buildings. </li></ul><ul><li>A key part of the rationale for developing the energy display label was to motivate decision makers towards a common approach for European certification for energy performance of non-residential buildings, and engage municipal energy managers and the general public around the subject of energy and buildings. </li></ul><ul><li>As a project partner, DMU was responsible for evaluating the success of the campaign </li></ul>
  39. 53. Display communication activities <ul><li>Education/Training programmes </li></ul><ul><li>Communication Activities </li></ul><ul><li>Internal Communication </li></ul><ul><li>Local Energy CYBER Display Days </li></ul><ul><li>Schools Programme </li></ul><ul><li>Local Press Articles and Media Relations; </li></ul><ul><li>Local Communication Materials </li></ul><ul><li>Staff Training Workshops </li></ul>
  40. 54. IMPROVING BUILDING PERFORMANCE The overall trend is of this set of buildings moving ‘Towards Class A.’ By this we mean there is, overall, a increase in higher rating certificates (A C) and a decrease in ratings G-D.
  41. 55. Findings from Display ® <ul><li>Display® lead to demonstrable increases in building performance and energy awareness. But . . . </li></ul><ul><li>There is no one single measure or ‘quick-fix’ for moving buildings ‘Towards Class A’. </li></ul><ul><li>The importance and success of Display® is in recognizing that the poster is merely a beginning of the journey ‘Towards Class A’. </li></ul><ul><li>Buildings in Display® that improve . . . </li></ul><ul><li>Invest in multiple refurbishments especially lighting controls and boiler replacement and avoid using air conditioning; </li></ul><ul><li>Invest in new types of building controls especially heating controls; </li></ul><ul><li>Have a full time energy manager and voluntary environmental champion; </li></ul><ul><li>Organized local media campaigns and used creative promotional materials; </li></ul><ul><li>Attended local and national networking events such as 'national users club event ' </li></ul>
  42. 56. <ul><li>A technical improvement is the result of someone’s behaviour being changed, be it the facilities manager, finance director, energy manager or mayor. </li></ul>
  43. 57. <ul><li>Engagement– as defined here – demonstrates real potential and contribution to the sustainability debate </li></ul><ul><li>Learning – leading to behaviour change – is a realistic outcome of engagement </li></ul>Conclusion: Whose behaviour are we trying to change?
  44. 58. Questions? Dr Richard Bull [email_address] greenview.dmu.ac.uk Twitter: richbull Shukla, A & Bull, R.J, (2012) Performance study of DISPLAY database: Trends in municipality buildings, Energy and Buildings 47, p 285-291. Bull, R. J & J. Petts et al (2010) – The importance of context for effective public engagement: Learning from the governance of waste. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 53 (8): 991-1009 Bull, R., J. Petts, et al. (2008). &quot;Social Learning from Public Engagement: Dreaming the impossible?&quot; Journal of Environmental Management and Planning 51(5): 703-718

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