Climate Crisis

Personal actions against climate change: What drives follow-through?

Which of your New Year’s resolutions have you shelved already? The most difficult actions? The ones with the smallest impact? Or is this completely random?
When it comes to actions against climate change, we no longer need to guess:
In Germany, thousands of participants in a grassroots initiative committed to various personal actions against climate change. 🙋🏽‍♀️ Later, they were asked if they had followed through on their commitments. I have plotted the results in two graphs below. The results are quite puzzling:
⚠️ The most popular actions against climate change are NOT more likely to be implemented, even though they are mostly the easier ones to follow through on (left-hand graph)
⚠️ The most effective actions are NOT more likely to be followed through on. (right-hand graph)

Why does this matter? If you give advice to people on what they should do to fight climate change, do NOT list actions with only a small impact! They are not more likely to be implemented and they may crowd out more effective actions.

You would think there are only focused, curated lists of actions against climate change out there, but unfortunately, the opposite is true. So please get out your erasers and curate those lists of advice!

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