Karolina Safarzynska – Università di Varsavia —
Modulo di Sviluppo Sostenibile – Responsabile Marco Raberto
Lab and field experiments show that people are generally short-sighted, preferring instant gratification over larger rewards in the future. We frequently make choices that are against our own interests and that affect our environment. For instance, ‘present’ bias causes people to undervalue energy costs when they purchase energy-using durables, such as vehicles, refrigerators or air conditioners, paying attention mostly to the price to be paid immediately and not to energy costs to be incurred in the future. As a result, many of us buy products that cost less at the moment of buying but are more expensive to use in the long-run, and which also generate more greenhouse gas emissions. In this lecture, I will discuss main ideas behind behavioural economics and how they can be used to guide climate policies. We will look at the examples of “green” or “climate” nudges. These are policies that aim at correcting behavioural biases that generate excessive carbon dioxide emissions. We will discuss if these policies can help us to achieve sustainability and under which conditions we can implement them.