BRITISH GOVERNMENT REPORT:
Changing behaviour through policy making
“...Achieving sustainable development will depend largely on long-term changes in behaviours of individuals, communities, firms and the public sector.
Government can play a pivotal role in changing these behaviours over time. But it has to find a way of engaging with both individuals and the public, in supporting the development of new social norms and fostering facilitating conditions in a strategic and long-term approach to behaviour change.
This paper provides a detailed discussion of the changing behaviour model which is introduced in the sustainable development strategy “Securing the future”1 [Available via http://www.sustainable-development.gov.uk/index.htm ].
... Research that was commissioned by Defra shows the scale of the challenge we face in helping people to make better choices that deliver moving towards sustainable development and a “one planet economy”.
“Information does not necessarily lead to increased awareness, and increased awareness does not necessarily lead to action. Information provision, whether through advertisements, leaflets or labelling, must be backed up by other approaches.”
Demos & Green Alliance, 2003
...There is no point asking people to change if they don’t know how – or if they know what do, but what they need to do it is not available. We need to help people make responsible choices by providing them with the education, skills and information, and by making those choices easy with easily accessible alternatives and suitable infrastructure.
...Government will look at the most effective techniques to encourage and, where necessary, enforce, behaviour change. These might include taxes or other ways of giving price signals, peer pressure, league tables, funding, or regulation. We should also consider scope for positive incentives to reward good behaviour rather than penalties.
... “Sustainable development will not just be a subject in the classroom: it will be in its bricks and mortar and the way the school uses and even generates its own power. Our students won't just be told about sustainable development, they will see and work within it: a living, learning, place in which to explore what a sustainable lifestyle means.”
Prime Minister, September 2004
Behaviour change is a process that may unfold over months, years or, in the case of the most radical behaviour shifts, decades.