• Year Present
  • Theme Climate Change
  • Team Sustainability
  • MacArthur Foundation

Encouraging Low Carbon Lifestyles in Indian Cities

The Low Carbon Lifestyles project works to support the adoption of low carbon technologies and lifestyles in Indian cities.

Responding to climate change is one of the defining challenges of our time. India's greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) have implications for global sustainability trajectories and national development outcomes. As the world's third-largest emitter of GHGs, India's ability to pioneer low carbon development and tackle poverty without massive fossil fuel use will significantly impact global sustainable development indicators.

Medium and high-income households contribute to a significantly larger share of GHG emissions due to their lifestyle choices. As the middle and upper class continue to prosper in India, their electricity and fuel consumption and related GHG emissions are likely to rise.

Despite the availability of low-carbon technologies and lifestyle choices, adoption in India remains low. There is an opportunity to address this gap in climate action by understanding the choice architecture of decision-making by individuals, households, and communities and integrating promising low-carbon choices and behaviours into policies.

The Centre for Social and Behaviour Change (CSBC), Ashoka University, and the MacArthur Foundation have initiated the Low Carbon Lifestyles project to study low-carbon choices around urban mobility, household energy consumption, material use, and food consumption and design behavioural interventions to redirect household choice towards low-carbon technologies.

The objective of the project is to help India turn the corner on rising emissions of GHGs by supporting low-carbon choices among individuals, households and communities in Indian cities. We seek to enable systematic change to ensure that policies and programmes incorporate an understanding of the context of consumer choices and local barriers to the uptake of low carbon consumption when they devise levers to support higher adoption.

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