Although public opinion polls show an overwhelming support for climate change actions in Austria, at the moment Austria’s community-based Climate Energy Model (CEM) Regions program is not sufficiently motivating stakeholders. There exist many cost-effective and healthier lifestyle options (such as a reduction in meat consumption and a shift to biking and teleworking), however, these are yet to translate into widespread behavioral changes. Achieving low-carbon transition, and doing so fast enough to limit global warming to below 2°C, requires the the broadest involvement of policy-makers, citizens, and private and public enterprises, and their willingness to embrace and invest in low-carbon technology and lifestyle options.
For this reason the project analyzes the existing policy implementation gap from three angles: The first is underlying contextual factors, including the overarching governance landscape and heterogeneous actor group motivation. The second is strategic considerations that hinder energy transition as a collective action. The third is user-experience and design considerations that facilitate voluntary actions.
The three primary objectives of this study are:
Our research employs and develops a mixture of quantitative and qualitative methods, including a scoping study and key informant interviews (Objective 1), ‘Energy Transition’ serious game and applied game-theoretic modeling (Objective 2) and design-thinking workshops (Objective 3).
A successful stakeholder-led CEM program that meets Austria’s ambitious climate targets could serve as a model across Europe, where several thousand community-based groups are already engaged in bottom-up low carbon initiatives. The project will focus on one or two CEM regions as case studies, with researchers working closely alongside the CEM manager and other relevant stakeholders to co-produce and test policy implementation options for accelerating low-carbon transition. Bottom-up insights gained in this study will complement the shortcomings of the traditional ‘decide-then-disseminate’ approach to policy prescription.
Last edited: 20 September 2017
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
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