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Call for Evidence

Call for evidence

The House of Lords Environment and Climate Change Committee is seeking written submissions for its inquiry into behaviour change in the context of climate change (mitigation and adaptation) and the environment (e.g. biodiversity, water, waste and the circular economy, and air pollution) by Monday 13 December 2021.

The main focus of the inquiry is on behaviour change, though not in isolation, as the Committee is also interested in the wider conditions needed for people to make changes and the sequencing of related policy measures.

For the purposes of the inquiry, behaviour change is understood to include:

  1. the lifestyle changes that may be required by individuals, households, and communities and other groups, to reach the Government’s long-term climate change and environment goals and commitments[1];
  2. the drivers of change such as motivations and other factors (like costs and the wider environment (e.g. the availability of transport infrastructure and services));
  3. the different ways that the Government might facilitate, enable, and promote such changes including through working with other actors (businesses, civil society including community groups, local authorities, and others), and through its role setting the parameters for environmentally responsible business.

The Committee welcomes responses to the questions below. Please do not feel obliged to answer all questions. In fact, submissions focused on a smaller set of questions are preferred. Submissions should not be more than 5,000 words and shorter submissions are welcomed and encouraged.

The Committee welcomes supporting examples from all sectors with impacts on climate change and the environment, including sectors related to products/material consumption and travel.

In your response you should keep in mind that the culmination of Committee work is often a report with recommendations directed to the UK Government.

Finally, please note that all references to behaviour change below should be understood in the context of action on climate change and the environment, except where specified otherwise.

Possible lifestyle changes needed

A. What are the areas where lifestyle changes may be most needed to reach the Government’s long-term climate change and environment goals and commitments?

Public attitudes

B. What is the UK public’s level of concern regarding climate change and environment issues, and how does this vary across the population?

C. What is the UK public’s appetite for the key lifestyle changes that may be needed to achieve the Government’s long-term climate change and environment goals and commitments, and how does this vary across the population?

D. What can be learnt from research into consumer attitudes towards climate change, the environment, and the transition towards green products and services?

Behaviour change

E. What can be learnt from successful and unsuccessful behaviour change interventions by the UK Government and other government actors (including in other policy or geographical contexts)?

F. What are the pros/cons and limitations of different frameworks and methods for promoting behaviour change?

G.What are the main evidence gaps relating to these frameworks and methods, and how might they be addressed?

H. What are the key ethical considerations for Government policy focused on behaviour change?

I. What roles are there for considerations of fairness, individual freedoms and social responsibilities in the context of behaviour change?

J. How should the Government consider the balance between, or sequencing of, approaches to behaviour change focused on:

   • encouraging changes to individual behaviour;

   • regulatory approaches focused on individuals and/or businesses which restrict or eliminate choices; and

   • fiscal measures (including taxation)?

K. How should Government policy on behaviour change reflect the influence of monetary costs and the wider environment (e.g. the availability of transport infrastructure and services)?

L. Where could the focus of Government efforts on behaviour change add the most value?

The role of Government and other actors

M. What can be learnt from change delivered by civil society including community groups, and businesses (including from actors based outside the UK)?

N. What should be the respective roles of different actors in delivering behaviour change, including Government, local authorities, businesses, civil society including community groups, and individuals and households?

O. What barriers are faced by civil society, including community groups, and businesses when delivering change?

P. How can Government best work with civil society, including community groups, to deliver behaviour change?

Q. What role is there for marketing and advertising businesses in supporting or enabling behaviour change, and what can other actors learn from them?

R. What role is there for the financial sector in supporting or enabling behaviour change?

S. How can Government and large and small businesses (from across supply chains and the financial sector) work together to support behaviour change?

T. How can the Government best set parameters for environmentally responsible business, in support of behaviour change?

Government policy

U. What are the main strengths and weaknesses of current Government policies on behaviour change, and what are the key improvements that could be made?

V. What external and/or material factors could restrict the success of these policies?

W. For behaviour change efforts, how effective is the coordination between government departments and the split of Ministerial and departmental responsibilities, and are sufficient resources in place (staff and budgets)?


[1] This includes goals and commitments on climate change mitigation and adaptation within the framework of the Climate Change Act and on the environment within the 25 Year Environment Plan.


ANNEX: Guidance for Submissions

Written submissions should be submitted online, as a Word document, using the written submission form.

Diversity comes in many forms and hearing a range of different perspectives means that committees are better informed and can more effectively scrutinise public policy and legislation. Committees can undertake their role most effectively when they hear from a wide range of individuals, sectors or groups in society affected by a particular policy or piece of legislation. We encourage anyone with experience or expertise of an issue under investigation by a select committee to share their views with the committee, with the full knowledge that their views have value and are welcome. If you think someone you know would have an interest in contributing to the inquiry, please pass this on to them.

All submissions made through the written submission form will be acknowledged automatically by email. Once you have received acknowledgement that the evidence has been accepted you will receive a further email, and at this point you may publicise or publish your evidence yourself. In doing so you must indicate that it was prepared for the Committee, and you should be aware that your publication or re-publication of your evidence may not be protected by parliamentary privilege.

Evidence which is accepted by the Committee may be published online at any stage; when it is so published it becomes subject to parliamentary copyright and is protected by parliamentary privilege. The Committee cannot accept any submissions that have not been prepared specifically in response to this call for evidence, or that have been published elsewhere.

Personal contact details will be removed from evidence before publication, but will be retained by the Committee Office and used for specific purposes relating to the Committee’s work, for instance to seek additional information.

Substantive communications to the Committee about the inquiry should be addressed through the Clerk of the Committee, whether or not they are intended to constitute formal evidence to the Committee.

This call for written evidence has now closed.

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