Meta-Analysis of Randomised Controlled Trials Testing Behavioural Interventions to Promote Household Action on Climate Change
Nature Communications, Forthcoming
18 Pages Posted: 16 Oct 2018 Last revised: 23 Oct 2019
Date Written: August 29, 2019
No consensus exists regarding which are the most effective mechanisms to promote household action on climate change. We present a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials comprising 3,092,678 observations, which estimates the effects of behavioural interventions holding other factors constant. Here we show that behavioural interventions promote climate change mitigation to a very small degree while the intervention lasts (d=-0.093 95% CI -0.160, -0.055), with no evidence of sustained positive effects once the intervention ends. With the exception of recycling, most household mitigation behaviours show a low behavioural plasticity. The intervention with the highest average effect size is choice architecture (nudges) but this strategy has been tested in a limited number of behaviours. Our results do not imply behavioural interventions are less effective than alternative strategies such as financial incentives or regulations, nor exclude the possibility that behavioural interventions could have stronger effects when used in combination with alternative strategies.
Keywords: Meta-Analysis; Sustainability; Evidence-Based Policy; Randomized Controlled Trial; Climate Change
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