Climate-conscious climate agents: Good Intents, Negative Impacts

A recent article in German news magazine Spiegel Online, presented a study by the German Environment Agency [2,3], which identified a climate-conscious, academic, high-salary group with paradoxically high consumption of ressources and high greenhouse gas emissions, because positive behaviors (e.g. plant based diet, cycling, public transport) are negatively overcompensated by high emissions due to large  (stylish, old) houses and correspondingly high emissions due to heating and air conditiong and an international lifestyle involving high levels of travelling. Therefores it is important to educate this target group about their self-delusion and how they can actually contributed positively to the climate in the most effective way.

[1] Carolin Wahnbaeck (2018-12-06). Das können Sie persönlich gegen den Klimawandel tun. Spiegel Online.

[2] Silke Kleinhückelkotten, H.-Peter Neitzke, Stephanie Moser (2016). Repräsentative Erhebung von Pro-Kopf- Verbräuchen natürlicher Ressourcen in Deutschland (nach Bevölkerungsgruppen). Umweltbundesamt.

[3] Moser, S., & Kleinhückelkotten, S. (2018). Good Intents, but Low Impacts: Diverging Importance of Motivational and Socioeconomic Determinants Explaining Pro-Environmental Behavior, Energy Use, and Carbon Footprint. Environment and Behavior, 50(6), 626–656.