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Tackling Environmental Problems with the Help of Behavioural Insights

image of Tackling Environmental Problems with the Help of Behavioural Insights

Behavioural insights can help policy makers obtain a deeper understanding of the behavioural mechanisms contributing to environmental problems, and design and implement more effective policy interventions. This report reviews recent developments in the application of behavioural insights to encourage more sustainable consumption, investment and compliance decisions by individuals and firms.

Drawing on interventions initiated by ministries and agencies responsible for environment and energy, as well as cross-government behavioural insights teams, it portrays how behavioural sciences have been integrated into the policy-making process. The report covers a variety of policy areas: energy, water and food consumption, transport and car choice, waste management and resource efficiency, compliance with environmental regulation and participation in voluntary schemes. It shows what has proven to work – and what has not – in policy practice in OECD countries and beyond.

 

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Using behavioural insights to increase compliance with environmental regulation and participation in voluntary schemes

This chapter presents behavioural interventions implemented to increase compliance with environmental regulation and participation in voluntary schemes, both on the side of individuals and firms. The behavioural biases at play are highlighted, together with the behavioural levers used by policy makers to tackle them. Behavioural interventions have been rolled out both to increase firm compliance with reporting requirements, such as those on the import of environmentally harmful substances, to promote individual compliance with the payment of environmentally related fines, such as those on littering, and to make the uptake of “soft” policy instruments such as voluntary certification more appealing.

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