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The aggregated effects of billions of individual decisions each day have large adverse effects on human and ecosystem health, natural resource stocks, and global climate change. During the past decade, increasing attention has been paid to the role that behavioral sciences can play in promoting more sustainable systems of consumption and production, acting as compliments to longer-term technology and policy measures. This presentation examines different perspectives on the motivations of human behavior, and presents examples of research, tools and program models that hold promise to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from households and communities.
Chris Jones is research associate at the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory and a doctoral student in the Energy and Resources Group at U.C. Berkeley. His research interests intersect the fields of industrial ecology, environmental psychology, ecological economics and climate change policy. He is lead developer of the CoolClimate Calculator, an online tool that allows households and businesses to compare their carbon footprints to similar users, develop personalized climate action plans and engage in community-based social marketing programs to scale up greenhouse gas reductions. His research is funded by the California Air Resources Board and by the California Institute for Energy and Environment for his role as program manager of the Behavior, Energy and Climate Change Conference, the premier U.S. conference dedicated to understanding and extending the application of behavioral sciences to solve energy and climate problems.