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Reply to Second comment on 'The climate mitigation gap : Education and government recommendations miss the most effective individual actions'

Wynes, Seth and Nicholas, Kimberly A. LU (2018) In Environmental Research Letters 13(6).
Abstract

In their comment piece, Laycock and Lam (Environ. Res. Lett. 13 068001) focused on the importance for reducing emissions of actions beyond individual choices and overconsumption, and raise the issue of family planning as a human right. Here we respond that both individual and collective actions, in private and professional life, are important to reducing emissions to near zero in the next few decades. While we do not argue that individual actions will be sufficient to achieve this profound transformation, we believe that they can be helpful towards this goal, and also note from our own observations that we see personal, professional, and collective actions as often mutually reinforcing rather than contradictory. Regarding... (More)

In their comment piece, Laycock and Lam (Environ. Res. Lett. 13 068001) focused on the importance for reducing emissions of actions beyond individual choices and overconsumption, and raise the issue of family planning as a human right. Here we respond that both individual and collective actions, in private and professional life, are important to reducing emissions to near zero in the next few decades. While we do not argue that individual actions will be sufficient to achieve this profound transformation, we believe that they can be helpful towards this goal, and also note from our own observations that we see personal, professional, and collective actions as often mutually reinforcing rather than contradictory. Regarding overconsumption, we reiterate that our study was designed to illustrate the decisive role that consumption patterns play in driving greenhouse gas emissions, based on the understanding that wealthy, high-carbon individuals are responsible for a disproportionately large share of emissions. Regarding the ethics of family planning, we fully agree with Laycock and Lam (and international agreements) that family planning is a private decision. We give examples of our careful public communication around this issue to provide this context and thank them for the opportunity to do so. In their comment piece, Laycock and Lam provide insight into the discussion of high-impact climate actions, especially concerning the effect of communicating about family size. Here we respond to their thoughts on the scope of our research, including (1) the importance of actions beyond the private individual level, (2) the importance of overconsumption to an individual's emissions and (3) the ethics of communications pertaining to the planning of family size.

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
behaviour change, climate change mitigation, collective action, consumption, family planning, sustainability
in
Environmental Research Letters
volume
13
issue
6
publisher
IOP Publishing
external identifiers
  • scopus:85049811365
ISSN
1748-9318
DOI
10.1088/1748-9326/aac9cf
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
de8cf9b2-3a42-462a-b69e-1778470512bd
date added to LUP
2018-09-17 09:02:44
date last changed
2019-09-17 04:38:38
@article{de8cf9b2-3a42-462a-b69e-1778470512bd,
  abstract     = {<p>In their comment piece, Laycock and Lam (Environ. Res. Lett. 13 068001) focused on the importance for reducing emissions of actions beyond individual choices and overconsumption, and raise the issue of family planning as a human right. Here we respond that both individual and collective actions, in private and professional life, are important to reducing emissions to near zero in the next few decades. While we do not argue that individual actions will be sufficient to achieve this profound transformation, we believe that they can be helpful towards this goal, and also note from our own observations that we see personal, professional, and collective actions as often mutually reinforcing rather than contradictory. Regarding overconsumption, we reiterate that our study was designed to illustrate the decisive role that consumption patterns play in driving greenhouse gas emissions, based on the understanding that wealthy, high-carbon individuals are responsible for a disproportionately large share of emissions. Regarding the ethics of family planning, we fully agree with Laycock and Lam (and international agreements) that family planning is a private decision. We give examples of our careful public communication around this issue to provide this context and thank them for the opportunity to do so. In their comment piece, Laycock and Lam provide insight into the discussion of high-impact climate actions, especially concerning the effect of communicating about family size. Here we respond to their thoughts on the scope of our research, including (1) the importance of actions beyond the private individual level, (2) the importance of overconsumption to an individual's emissions and (3) the ethics of communications pertaining to the planning of family size.</p>},
  articleno    = {068002},
  author       = {Wynes, Seth and Nicholas, Kimberly A.},
  issn         = {1748-9318},
  keyword      = {behaviour change,climate change mitigation,collective action,consumption,family planning,sustainability},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {06},
  number       = {6},
  publisher    = {IOP Publishing},
  series       = {Environmental Research Letters},
  title        = {Reply to Second comment on 'The climate mitigation gap : Education and government recommendations miss the most effective individual actions'},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/aac9cf},
  volume       = {13},
  year         = {2018},
}