Open Access

Peer-reviewed

Commentary

Main Article Content

Manuela Amadori
Mariano Vottacorresponding author

Abstract

The EU’s ambitious targets to increase energy efficiency and cope with the challenge of climate change have pushed several stakeholders, including public authorities and Distributed System Operators (DSOs), to actively invest in the energy transition and improve energy efficiency. Although a significant part of this investment concerns digital infrastructure (i.e., smart meters) allowing citizens to monitor and better manage their consumption of energy, it is pivotal to recognize the necessity for changes in the overall energy-related behavior of consumers. Against this background, the NUDGE project seeks to first analyze the behavior of European citizens with concern the energy consumption and to consequently design and test nudging interventions on different segments of the population, in the hope to derive recommendations tailored to each country and to design more general policies at European level. Hence, pilot projects will be carried out in households, energy communities, and schools in five different EU countries, while a general profiling survey will be disseminated online across the EU. Indeed, in order to profile users and assess the impact of an intervention, NUDGE takes a mixed approach which combines field experiments and randomized control trials with surveys, on-site observations, and reports. The latter provide additional insights to the psychological and contextual variables that result in the behaviors evidenced in the trials. Fundamental to this research is the collaboration of the consortium’s partner Cittadinanzattiva-Active Citizenship Network with a number of civic and consumer organizations of different European countries that have shown their interest in the initiative and will collaborate in the dissemination of the online questionnaire in their country. Overall, this project is carried out with the ambition to of raising awareness of the projects’ major outcomes among the European institutions, starting from the Inter-Institutional Group “SDG’s for well-being and consumers’ protection,” which was launched at European level in February 2021 with the support of various Members of the European Parliament and the endorsement of 48 European and National Associations.

Keywords
energy transition, SDGs, green deal, behavioral Science, nudging, civic activism

Article Details

How to Cite
Amadori, M., & Votta, M. (2021). SDGs and the engagement of EU citizens: The role of behavioral science in the energy transition. Resources and Environmental Economics, 3(1), 239-244. https://doi.org/10.25082/REE.2021.01.003

References

  1. Thaler R and Sunstein C. Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness. Rev. and expanded ed. New York: Penguin Books, 2009.
  2. NUDGE. N.d. https://www.nudgeproject.eu
  3. NUDging consumers towards enerGy Efficiency through behavioral science (NUDGE). Join the Survey. 2021. Active Citizenship Network. http://www.activecitizenship.net/consumers-rights/news/381-nudging-consumers-towards-energy-efficiency-through-behavioral-science.html
  4. New Consumer Agenda: European Commission to empower consumers to become the driver of transition. 13 Nov. 2020. European Commission. https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_2069
  5. The Sustainable Development Agenda. N.d. United Nations. https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/development-agenda
  6. Croatian Association for Consumer Protection (Hrvatska Udruga Za Zastitu Potrosaca - HUZP). https://www.consumersinternational.org/members/members/croatian-association-for-consumer-pro tection-cacp
  7. Center for education and informing consumers (Centar za edukaciju i informiranje potroˇsaˇca - CEIP). https://www.ceip.hr
  8. InfoCons (Asociat,ia InfoCons - Organizat,ie pentru Protect,ia Consumatorilor). https://www.infocons.ro
  9. Union of Working Consumers of Greece. https://eeke.gr/en
  10. Association of Consumers Organizations in Slovakia (Asoci´acia spotrebiteˇlsk´ych subjektov Slovenska). http://www.spotrebitelinfo.sk
  11. Association Talented Borders. https://ashandurov.wixsite.com/talentedborders
  12. Confederation of Consumers and Users (Confederaci´on de consumidores y usuarios – CECU). https://cecu.es
  13. IFOK. https://www.ifok.de
  14. National Association Saugok Save. https://www.facebook.com/saugoksave
  15. Consumer Rights Protection Centre (Asociacija Vartotoju teisiu gynimo centras). http://www.vartotojucentras.lt
  16. Indecosa. http://www.indecosa.cgt.fr
  17. Consumers Association of Malta (Ghaqda tal-Konsumaturi). http://camalta.org.mt
  18. Association for Consumer Rights (ACR). http://www.acrmalta.com
  19. Asociaci´on Murciana de Consumidores y Usuarios (CONSUMUR). http://consumur.org
  20. Social-Mentes Canarias. https://www.facebook.com/Social-Mentes-Canarias-175786197355387
  21. Slovene Consumer Association (Zveza Potroˇsnikov Slovenije – ZPS). https://www.zps.si
  22. European Consumer Union. https://europeanconsumersunion.eu/?lang=en
  23. The Innovation Platform. https://www.innovationnewsnetwork.com/the-innovation-platform
  24. Resources and Environmental Economics. https://www.syncsci.com/journal/REE
  25. EKOenergy. https://www.ekoenergy.org
  26. Canale Energia. https://www.canaleenergia.com
  27. Turning challenge into opportunity on the course to becoming the first climate-neutral continent. 13 Dec. 2019. European Commission. https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/AC_19_6778
  28. European Parliament resolution of 15 January 2020 on the European Parliament’s position on the Conference on the Future of Europe (2019/2990(RSP). https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/TA-9-2020-0010_EN.html
  29. Inter-Institutional Group Sustainable Development Goals for well-being and consumers’ protection Official Website. n.d. http://www.interestgroupsdgs.eu