What does behavioural change mean?

Dec 20, 2022Blog


Behavioural change defines a change in the behaviour of an individual or a group when compared to previous behaviour. This change can be temporary, long-term, or permanent.

The question of behavioural change and, more generally, changing lifestyles is a key issue in the ecological transition. In European countries, behavioural changes can have a positive or negative impact on the uptake of Green Deal policies. In ACCTING, we argue that there is a need for forms of transformative change which are more fundamental and encompassing.

The ACCTING project team analyses:

  • the motivations and obstacles for change in individuals, communities, organisations and social practices,
  • the positive or negative effects on inequalities produced by changes or lack thereof,
  • the complex relation between behavioural change, multidimensional vulnerabilities, and inequalities, in the context of an inclusive, gender+ equal, and socially just European Green Deal.

The project’s goal is to design recommendations that can facilitate individual and collective behavioural changes supporting the ecological transition without increasing existing inequalities or creating new ones.

These policy solutions will be tested through pilot actions encouraging behavioural change in various contexts. An open call for pilots, funded by ACCTING, will be published late Spring 2023.


To know more:


    • Black, I., & Eiseman, D. (2019). Climate Change Behaviours. University of Stirling: The Cornell Institute for Climate Smart Solutions
    • Boström, M. (2020). The social life of mass and excess consumption. Environmental Sociology, 6(3), 268–278.
    • Kaijser, A., & Kronsell, A. (2014). Climate change through the lens of intersectionality. Environmental politics, 23(3), 417–433.
    • Pellegrini-Masini, G. (2020). Wind power and public engagement: co-operatives and community ownership. Routledge.
    • Shin, H. D., & Bull, R. (2019). Three dimensions of design for sustainable behaviour. Sustainability, 11(17), 4610.
    • Zorell, C. V. (2020). Nudges, norms, or just contagion? A theory on influences on the practice of (non-)sustainable behavior. Sustainability, 12(24), 10418.

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In June ACCTING participated in the 11th European Urban Resilience Forum (EURESFO) in Valencia, Spain, the 2024 European Green Capital. EURESFO is a collaborative initiative by the European Environment Agency and ACCTING project partner ICLEI Europe. The 2024 edition, held during the Valencia Cities Climate Week, brought together representatives from cities and regions across Europe to discuss climate resilience and sustainable urban development. 

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