Our research has clearly shown that most people do want to make many of the changes that will be required as we move to a low carbon future, such as growing and sourcing local food, reducing their home energy consumption, working more locally etc. However, there are many real and perceived barriers to change and perverse incentives not to change. These barriers include issues around cost, availability, lack of time, lack of ownership, lack of supporting infrastructure, policy and regulations.
People indicated that they are well aware of the global issues of climate change but have little understanding about what the local impacts may be and feel that local action will have little effect. People’s awareness of Peak Oil was much lower but this issue seems to have more immediacy and to be a much stronger driver of positive behaviour change.
Reports summarising our community’s current behaviours and the barriers to change regarding food, energy and transport are available here with more detailed results from our travel surveys available here.