Research Projects

Project at a Glance

Project Status: active

ARB Press Releases:

Title: The Cool California Carbon Challenge: a pilot intra- and inter-community carbon footprint reduction competition

Principal Investigator / Author(s): Kammen, Daniel

Contractor: UC Berkeley

Contract Number: 10-325

Research Program Area: Climate Change

Topic Areas: Behavioral Change

Research Summary:

The AB 32 Scoping Plan indicates a need for voluntary reductions of residential greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions if California is going to reduce carbon emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020. However, motivating behavioral change can be difficult: improved access to information does not generally suffice to motivate individuals and communities to adopt energy-saving behaviors, even when these behaviors are in the actorsí economic best interests. Strategies that have demonstrated some success in motivating environmentally benign behaviors include competitions coupled with other approaches such as goal-setting, modeling of normative behaviors, feedback, rewards, and providing tailored information. The goal of this project is to develop, monitor, and evaluate a carbon footprint reduction program for California households and communities that is based on ARBís website and toolkit and that leverages a variety of proven strategies to motivate behavioral change. The competition will be piloted in three California communities over a twelve month period, and persistence of results will be investigated six months after the competition ends. Results of this work will include a prototype competition model to foster voluntary emissions reductions through community-level competitions, assessment of the competitionís effectiveness in fostering residential carbon footprint reductions in three communities, identification of factors associated with reductions (or lack thereof) in household carbon footprints, and persistence of the competitionís impact. These results will support the Stateís efforts to curb residential GHG emissions using resources.


For questions regarding research reports, contact: Heather Choi at (916) 322-3893

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