The KlimaAlltag project conducted a field test and empirical surveys to investigate low-carbon lifestyles in different social strata, focusing on mobility, nutrition, lifestyle and household energy consumption. In parallel, it analysed the effects of selected social and environmental policy instruments.
Its overall goals were to
1) develop target-group-specific strategies to promote low-carbon lifestyles;
2) determine starting points, options and limits concerning the decarbonisation of everyday routines; and
Though the research topic was fixed, different perspectives were included through the involvement of stakeholders (researchers, citizens, municipal enterprises and community service organisations). Participant recruitment for the field test was based on socio-demographic and socio-structural characteristics and target quotas for gender, income level, life stage, household structure, migration background and current environmental commitment.
The project addressed different social classes, but also required balanced participation. Since recruitment of low-income and migrant households was seen as a possible difficulty, organisers sought the cooperation of welfare organisations and migrants associations. Other target households were identified through municipal companies. The participation of these intermediaries was essential.
Participating households had different expectations for the outcomes, which could not be foreseen or addressed in advance. By evaluating the results and clustering the outcomes, different aims were identified and considered in the subsequent consultation processes.
The VZ (consumer advice centre) provided an important link between different stakeholder groups by mediating the process and translating academic findings into language and recommendations that practitioners could use. Continuous reflection on findings aided mutual understanding of the needs and obstacles. The consultation process produced ideas for future projects and a move towards approaching energy, nutrition and mobility together rather than separately.
The project resulted in household commitments to reducing CO2 emissions, as well as relevant data for future initiatives and projects to promote lifestyle changes that benefit the climate. The VZ and local partners, as community facilities, service providers and companies (e.g. transport companies, energy suppliers, etc.) can use the knowledge generated in the scientific evaluation of the field test.
In this transdisciplinary approach, it was essential to have a mediator to facilitate connecting with different stakeholders and to establish which stakeholder group was responsible for which target group. Introducing low-carbon lifestyles is transferable to metropolitan areas and probably mid-size cities, but may not be transferable to rural regions because of mobility factors.
A tool of behavioural climate advice has been developed and tested in practice. This consultation follows a field of action overarching approach (mobility, nutrition, energy / residential) and aims at a more climate-friendly citizens' daily lives.