Edited by Karin Bäckstrand and Eva Lövbrand
AbstractThis chapter gives an overview of the roles ordinary people, here called citizen-consumers, could play in relation to climate governance. Four roles are identified: (1) empowered citizen-consumers motivated by information about climate threats associated with their daily practices, (2) citizen-consumers acting within given structures set up to facilitate reductions of climate-gas emissions, (3) empowered citizen-consumers acting primarily on other motivations than climate concern and (4) citizen-consumers acting within given structures not set up primarily to facilitate climate-gas reductions, although such reductions may still take place. The four roles do not constitute a ranking list from insufficient to sufficient roles. None of these roles are perfect or ideal in climate governance, but will need to be combined. To be sure, this chapter argues that changing social policies and structure is likely to be more climate efficient than is changing individual attitudes. A more important point is that climate governance could be more powerful by looking beyond people’s climate intention and beyond structural changes specifically designed to reduce climate harm. By examining how people’s climate motivation may meet other motivations, scholars and practitioners of climate governance have a vast field of unexplored territory to examine and develop into novel types of governance.
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