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Centre for Climate and Energy Transformation (CET)
CET Virtual Lunch Seminar

CET Lunch with guest researcher Annina Thaller

Welcome to our lunch seminar with Annina Thaller, our guest researcher from Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz.

Man on bus
Photo:
Pau Casals/Unsplash

Main content

Changing our behavior will be critical to combat climate change. While in the past the focus was often only on technological solutions, the role of behavior change and demand-side solutions has become increasingly important as well. Yet, when it comes to how to enable low-carbon behavior change in our role as consumers, policy interventions often follow the logic of "easy and painless steps," resulting in limited impact of the measures introduced or only incremental improvements in the particular behavioral area. However, at a time when the consequences of anthropogenic climate change are being felt worldwide, a far-reaching, radical and immediate transformation of existing systems is needed to achieve significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions within the next few decades.

A key area in this regard is passenger transport, where high carbon lock-in makes decarbonization particularly difficult and at the same time voluntary travel behavior change highly unlikely. Disruption is needed to enable mobility change, particularly in the form of so-called disruptive policy packages that drive the desired change in behavior. At the same time, there is a tension between the importance of push measures that make car travel less attractive on the one hand and the need for public acceptance for the implementation of such policy packages on the other.

In her talk, Annina Thaller will present some of the main results of her doctoral research on policy-driven behavior change for the specific group of consumers in the passenger transport sector. She will talk about the prevailing mechanisms of carbon lock-in, the need for disruptive policy packages and their elements, as well as barriers and enablers for successful policy-driven travel behavior change.

About the speaker:

Annina Thaller is a PhD researcher at the University of Graz, Austria at the Institute of Systems Sciences, Innovations and Sustainability Research and is part of the Doctoral Programme Climate Change. She is currently a guest researcher at CET.

In her PhD thesis, she focuses on the transformation of passenger transport through policy-driven behavior change and applies quantitative and qualitative social science methods.