GLRPPR Sector Resource: "It's Second Nature": Sustaining Public Engagements with Addressing Climate Change at the Community Level
"It's Second Nature": Sustaining Public Engagements with Addressing Climate Change at the Community Level
Whilst the number of studies focusing on strategies to engage the public with addressing climate change and sustainability are growing exponentially, little attention has been paid to the (multiple) ways in which individuals wish (or do not wish) to become involved, and to what extent. This is striking given that research indicates that community-based carbon reduction strategies struggle to turn initial excitement into sustained participation. This is a significant barrier to grassroots projects that need to be scaled up to address climate change on a wider scale. With reference to fieldwork carried out in the United Kingdom employing focus groups, this paper reports that individuals are willing to actively participate in public engagement activities and become involved (on a number of cognitive, affective and behavioural levels) with community-based projects that address climate change. In so doing, this paper illustrates that people want to take ownership and responsibility for sustainability in their communities. However, this transition towards sustainable living needs to be achieved in ways in which that stimulates (sustained) engagement. This paper is of particular relevance for academics and practicing communities in sustainability, demonstrating that higher levels of engagement with community-based carbon reduction strategies indicates a shift towards higher rungs of citizen participation in local sustainable development. The result of higher citizen involvement in local sustainability demonstrates a changing climate in the co-production, co-governance and co-delivery of a low-carbon sustainable future.
Michigan Journal of Sustainability, 4(Summer 2016), 61-79.
Date of Publication:
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