Behaviour Change for Sustainable Consumption

Wencke Gwozdz, Lucia A. Reisch, John Thøgersen

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial


The Paris Agreement goal to limit global warming to 1.5°C by 2100 translates into a carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent emission reduction from around 40 gigatons in 2020 to around 5 gigatons (Rockström et al. 2017). As part of a long-term strategy to achieve this goal, technological innovations are necessary, but not sufficient. Another necessary element is changes in consumer and household behaviours, which cannot wait for the long term. In the EU, for example, households account for nearly 20% of total CO2 emissions (Eurostat 2017). Furthermore, there is a large variation in private households’ consumption patterns, which shows that demand-side interventions targeted at private households are indeed promising (Dubois et al. 2019). The largest contributions to CO2 emissions from private households come from personal transport, thermal energy use, electricity consumption, and accommodation as well as consumption of food and consumer goods and services (Kalbar et al. 2016; Steen-Olsen and Hertwich 2015). Private households can substantially reduce their CO2 emissions by adopting new or altering the use of in-home and transportation-related technologies or changing consumption patterns related to food and other consumer goods (Gardner and Stern 2008).
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Consumer Policy
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)249-253
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

Published online: 4. April 2020

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