Table of Contents

The Global Challenge of Encouraging Sustainable Living

The Global Challenge of Encouraging Sustainable Living

Opportunities, Barriers, Policy and Practice

Edited by Shane Fudge, Michael Peters, Steven M. Hoffman and Walter Wehrmeyer

This unique book illustrates that in order to address the growing urgency of issues around environmental and resource limits, it is clear that we need to develop effective policies to promote durable changes in behaviour and transform how we view and consume goods and services. It suggests that in order to develop effective policies in this area, it is necessary to move beyond a narrow understanding of ‘how individuals behave’, and to incorporate a more nuanced approach that encompasses behavioural influences in different societies, contexts and settings.

Chapter 4: Scenarios as tools for initiating behaviour change in food consumption

Andrea Farsang and Lucia Reisch

Subjects: economics and finance, environmental economics, environment, climate change, environmental economics, environmental sociology, politics and public policy, public policy

Extract

Over the last few decades, considerable changes in food consumption have taken place. The food system is a complex socio-ecological system surrounded by unpredictable events and uncertainties, especially on long-term horizons such as 25–50 years ahead. In order to deal with these uncertainties, complexities and long-term challenges as well as to influence developments proactively, scenario planning is increasingly applied in both policy making and knowledge brokerage. Scenarios can reveal uncertainties, can help prepare for unexpected changes and highlight crucial decisions to be taken today. Scenarios can offer a clearer picture of the present and visions for the future and can help to identify key driving forces and barriers for changing behaviour and their trends as well as assess potential outcomes of different policy paths. The intention of this chapter is to provide background information and a short summary on the use of scenarios in evidence-based policy making in general as well as in the context of changing behaviour towards sustainable food consumption. Moreover, it compiles and briefly reviews recent examples of scenario building approaches in the sustainable food domain. The potential roles and applications of different types of scenarios such as visioning exercises, backcasting or quantitative models and their benefit for policy making are discussed. The chapter is built on a discussion paper that was prepared for the ‘Policy Meets Research’ Workshop on sustainable food consumption within the European Union (EU)FP 7 CORPUS project that-took place in Vienna in 2011 and 2012 (http://www.scpknowledge. eu).

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