Many environmental problems are caused by human behaviour and can be altered when people would more consistently engage in pro-environmental behaviour. Many approaches to encourage pro-environmental behaviour target extrinsic motivation, by offering incentives that change personal costs and benefits of behaviour. I will discuss whether and when such approaches can be effective in promoting pro-environmental actions, and why they are sometimes less effective than assumed. Next, I will discuss factors and strategies that can foster and secure intrinsic motivation to engage in pro-environmental behaviour. Intrinsically motivated people behave without being coerced or incentivised, even when pro-environmental behaviour is somewhat costly, as doing so is meaningful and makes them feel good.
Brief CV Linda Steg
Linda Steg is professor of environmental psychology at the University of Groningen. She studies factors influencing sustainable behaviour, the effects and acceptability of strategies aimed at promoting sustainable behaviour, and public perceptions of technology and system changes. She is member of Member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences (KNAW), and lead author of the IPCC special report on 1.5°C and AR6. She coordinates the PERSON platform (see person.eu) that aims to integrate international top Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) research on energy and to regularly deliver an interdisciplinary research agenda on SSH and energy. She participates in varies interdisciplinary and international research programmes, and collaborates with practitioners working in industry, governments and NGOs.