Modelling behavioral change for analysing degrowth pathways in Integrated Assessment Models

Presenting the NEVERMORE project at the 9th international Degrowth Conference

Section: Technology and Knowledge, Work and Equal Opportunities

Date: 29. August 2023 - 2. September 2023

ZSI's Katharina Koller and Lisa Mo Seebacher contributed to a presentation titled "Modelling behavioral change for analysing degrowth pathways in Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs)", presented by NEVERMORE project partner Paola Lopez-Muñoz from the Universidad de Valladolid in Spain.

The presentation slides can be accessed on Researchgate. This was the topic of the presentation:

Behavioural change is considered one of the demand-side strategies for achieving sustainable development pathways. People change their behaviour by altering the way they consume or live, causing a reduction in the use of resources or waste generation. Citizens are commonly encouraged to avoid, shift, or improve their behaviour to benefit climate adaptation or mitigation.

Yet, a holistic understanding of behavioural change as well as of its interactions with ecological, economic, political, and social systems is still lacking. Moreover, research on behavioural change is often focused on consumption and individual responsibility, instead of contributing to a collective degrowth strategy, including all responsible actors.

Here, we develop a new modelling framework that consists of integrating behavioural change in an Integrated Assessment Model (IAM) called WILIAM (‘WIthin Limits’ IAM). WILIAM is a complex multi-sectoral and multi-regional model based on system dynamics which represents a wide variety of economy, society and environment interactions and feedback loops. Through this work, the model is qualitatively informed by a literature review on degrowth behavioural change measures and the collective and individual drivers and barriers to their adoption. Afterwards, these relationships are translated into mathematical equations and indicators that are included in the model.

This modelling framework provides findings on both intentions and impacts of transformative behavioural change: we focus on systemic enablers and constraints behind behavioural change towards degrowth and also evaluate the consequences in terms of environmental and social impacts. Thus, our work represents a further contribution to the systematic planning and evaluation of degrowth as a political project.

Type: Event organised by other institutions

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