Behavioural and attitudinal change to reduce emissions

There is no doubt that there has been a marked shift in both the attitude and behaviour of end users of aviation. But is this having enough of an impact, and what more should be done?   

Changing air travel sentiments/flight shame

Change in attitudes to climate change

  • A global study of peoples’ attitudes towards climate change reveals that of the 32 countries surveyed, New Zealand is the “most worried about the impact of climate change” with 81% of New Zealanders expressing concern. Read more here.
  • Pew’s 2021 global survey of climate change attitudes measures interesting differences in attitude and outlook from people around the world, including New Zealand. Read more here and here
  • There has been a notable increase in youth activism around climate change globally, as demonstrated by the student-led movement Fridays for Future. The Pew 2021 survey found that young adults are more concerned than their older counterparts about the personal impact of a warming planet in many publics surveyed, including in New Zealand. Read more here.
  • Corporate attitudes towards climate change: The number of companies publicly committing to reduce their carbon emissions and take action on climate change has increased significantly in recent years. In the 2022 list produced by the Carbon Disclosure Project 18,636 companies were scored on their climate change transparency efforts.  

Can we rely on travellers’ behaviour change to reduce flight emissions?

  • Cass, N., Büchs, M. and Lucas, K. (2023) ‘How are high-carbon lifestyles justified? Exploring the discursive strategies of excess energy consumers in the United Kingdom’, Energy Research & Social Science (Link
  • Cass, N. (2022) ‘Hyper-aeromobility: the drivers and dynamics of frequent flying’, Consumption and Society, XX/XX, 1–23. (Link)
  • Cass, N (2021) ‘Social and material cogs of the needs satisfier escalator’, Proceedings of the 2021 ECEEE Summer Study, paper 1-080-21, European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. ISBN 978-91-983878-1-0 (online)/978-91-983878-0-3 (print) (Link)
  • Cass, N. (2022) Why leaving climate policy to behaviour change will never be fair, blog for Green Alliance. (Link)  
  • Cass, N.  (2022) Behaviour change or system change – How climate action is getting fudged, blog for the DecarboN8 Network. (Link
  • Cass, N. (2022) Excess energy consumption – is it reasonable to put a limit on how much energy we use? Blog for Centre for Research on Energy Demand Solutions. (Link)
  • Cass, N. and Lucas, K. (2022) Curbing excess: high energy consumption and the fair energy transition, CREDS report. (Link)
  • Cass, N. (2021) Written evidence from Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions (CEE0069), response to call for evidence on ‘Mobilising action on climate change and environment: behaviour change’ from the House of Lords Environment and Climate Change Committee (Link)

Access research topics here:

  • Back to Research Index home page (click here)
  • The big picture – the challenge of climate change and aviation emissions (click here)
  • Aotearoa’s tourism sector grapples with sustainability (click here)
  • The aviation industry’s biggest challenge (click here)
  • “Low carbon aviation”: aviation efficiency and technology myths (click here)
  • Aviation: moral arguments and climate equity (click here)
  • Policy considerations to reduce carbon emissions (click here)
  • Infrastructure trajectories with positive long term outcomes (click here)
  • Behavioural and attitudinal change to reduce emissions (click here)
  • Economic consequences of (in)action on climate change (click here)

Suggest amendments

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