What is preventing individual climate action? Impact awareness and perceived difficulties in changing transport and food behaviour

The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) has published a new report: What is preventing individual climate action? Impact awareness and perceived difficulties in changing transport and food behaviour.

In this study, a nationally representative sample of 1,200 adults completed online diaries about their day and then listed the actions they thought mattered most for their carbon footprint. The findings reveal that “people do not yet understand how what they choose to eat affects climate change”. One-in-five participants who travelled by car did not identify driving as a source of carbon emissions. Almost half did not list home energy use as a source of carbon emissions, and those who did were more likely to mention cooking than heating water or using white appliances, both of which produce higher carbon emissions.

However, the study also found that many people in Ireland have tried to reduce their carbon footprint, with 40% of participants saying that they had reduced emissions from transport, mainly by driving less often.

The report is available to download here.