Nudge, nudge, wink, wink ….

I wonder how much money has been spent by successive governments trying bring about ‘quick-fix’ behavioural change? A lot I imagine. The just published Behaviour Change report by the House Of Lords Science and Technology Sub-Committee, suggests that ‘nudges’ alone won’t work “… changing the behaviour of a population is likely to take time, perhaps a generation or more, and politicians usually look for quick win solutions.”

The same is true on reducing carbon emissions. We can’t rely solely on individuals to sufficiently change their behaviour in order to reverse the impact of climate change. A combination of incentives and regulation, whether we like it or not is needed – look at how reducing the tax on energy efficient cars has stimulated their sale or how ‘feed-in-tariffs’ have suddenly made a lot more people ‘interested’ in solar power. We need ‘nudges’ but the other stuff has to go along in tandem.