Publication - Research and analysis

Motivating low-carbon behaviours - insights from the Scottish Government

Published: 8 Nov 2016
Energy and Climate Change Directorate
Part of:
Environment and climate change

Insights from research commissioned to inform our social marketing campaigns concerning low carbon behaviours.

Motivating low-carbon behaviours - insights from the Scottish Government


The Scottish Government has set ambitious CO2 emission reduction targets to help tackle climate change and make Scotland a greener place to live. In order to meet these goals, everyone needs to work together, including government, businesses and the public. It is therefore essential that we understand what actions people are already taking, what is stopping people adopting climate friendly behaviours and how we can help these behaviours to become the norm.

As part of its efforts to meet these targets, the Scottish Government has been investigating how best to engage with people to motivate the up-take of low carbon behaviours. This document brings together and summarises this work, including findings from the Climate Change Behaviour Research Programme and research carried out alongside Greener Marketing Campaigns, including attitude and behaviour tracking data. It aims to give both an overview of what the Scottish Government has been doing in this area, and provide useful insights into how best to encourage positive behaviour change.

  • Section 1 Explores the key low carbon behaviours and the influences governing their uptake, and provides some insight into how to motivate behaviour change.
  • Section 2 presents data describing the attitudes and behaviours of the Scottish population, tracked from 2010 - 2016.

Included in annex at the end of this document is some information and links to useful behaviour change tools and resources developed by the Scottish Government.