The “Paris Lifestyle” – Bridging the Gap Between Science and Communication by Analysing and Quantifying the Role of Target Groups for Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation. An Interdisciplinary Approach

Publication from Life
Klimaneutrale Energiesysteme und Lebensstile

Schwarzinger S., Bird D.N., Hadler M.

Addressing the Challenges in Communicating Climate Change Across Various Audiences Book Chapter, 10/2017


World society and decision makers are running out of time to implement measures on climate change mitigation and adaptation. Incomplete knowledge and vast challenges in communicating climate change are crucial factors in this problem. In order to increase people’s awareness of their role in climate change, highly specific communication strategies are necessary. Besides insufficient information on group-specific realities of life, existing strategies are often limited by the absence of quantitative data that could give decision makers the opportunity to estimate the potential and evaluate the success of communication measures. In order to meet these requirements, energy use and corresponding emissions must be analysed in relation to behavioural patterns and technology choices of relevant social groups. This perspective leads to a more detailed understanding of how energy use and the responsibility for greenhouse gas emissions are distributed within society. This paper presents an interdisciplinary approach for providing the required knowledge within a single research process and describes its most relevant features as compared to previous methods. We describe the empirical development of an impact based “Energy Lifestyle” typology for the Austrian society and describe the six identified groups in detail with special focus on the challenges that might evolve in group specific communication. Thereafter, we set the six Energy Lifestyles in context with the name-giving concept “Paris Lifestyle” and discuss its role for evaluating the succession towards the goals set out in the Paris Agreement.