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Is it up to them? Individual leverages for sufficiency

Verfuerth, Caroline ORCID:, Henn, Laura and Becker, Sophia 2019. Is it up to them? Individual leverages for sufficiency. GAiA - Ecological Perspectives for Science and Society 28 (4) , pp. 374-380. 10.14512/gaia.28.4.9

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Sufficiency is one important strategy for sustainable development. At an individual level, we need a better understanding of the relationship between sufficiency attitude and CO2 footprint. In this paper, we analyze sufficiency as a psychological determinant of low-carbon lifestyles and introduce an empirical measurement scale for individual sufficiency attitudes. Sufficiency aims at a total reduction of resource consumption, which is urgently needed to achieve our climate and sustainable development goals. This paper explores individual attitude towards a sufficiency-oriented lifestyle as a driver of a low carbon footprint. Survey data of 310 participants was analyzed to test whether individual sufficiency attitude manifests in people’s carbon footprint. The results provide evidence for this relationship but its strength varies between behavioral domains ‐ that is, heating, electricity, food consumption, everyday mobility, air travel. Potential structural and individual barriers to reducing CO2 emissions are discussed as possible factors that could explain differences between the behavioral domains. We argue that intrapersonal factors matter for sustainable lifestyles but that policy-making and structural change should complement and facilitate voluntary endeavors to achieve low-carbon lifestyles.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: Oekom Verlag
ISSN: 0940-5550
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 14 January 2020
Date of Acceptance: 9 December 2019
Last Modified: 04 May 2023 09:46

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