Research project for the German Federal Environment AgencyStakeholder-workshop on nudging and sustainability in the German Federal Ministry for the Environment

In order to face the ongoing climate change, global warming should be limited to a maximum of 1.5 to 2°C by the year 2050. Since individual consumption contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions in Germany, changes in consumer behavior towards more sustainable patterns are vital to achieve this objective. Classical approaches to environmental consumer policy, such as bans and mandates, energy efficiency requirements or consumer information, are frequently not sufficient.

Commissioned by the German Federal Environment Agency, ConPolicy analyzes the potentials of the "nudge"-approach to promote sustainable consumption patterns. The project is being implemented together with Prof Dr Lucia Reisch (Copenhagen Business School / ZU Friedrichshafen), Prof Dr Cass Sunstein (Harvard University), Prof Dr Hans-W. Micklitz (European University Institute) and Ricardo-AEA.

Six specific nudges to foster sustainable consumption regarding housing and construction, mobility, and nutrition were discussed with different stakeholders from the economy, NGOs, science, and policy making in the German Federal Ministry for the Environment on March 16th, 2016. Following introductory words by Prof Dr Lucia Reisch, Prof Dr Christian Thorun and the keynote by Prof Dr Cass Sunstein, participants were invited to evaluate and examine application scenarios concerning their potentials and pitfalls as well as their practical implementation. Insights gained in the discussions will be used for concrete policy recommendations for the German Federal Environment Agency and further stakeholders.