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Lecture: “Social and Behavioral Science Contributions to Climate Mitigation: A Law and Policy Perspective”

Thursday, February 8, 2018 - 4:30pm to 5:30pm
Smeal College of Business, Room 124

Michael Vandenbergh, Director, Climate Change Research Network,Vanderbilt University
A realistic account of means to climate change mitigation needs realistic assessments of social contexts and human behavioral tendencies. As companies such as Walmart, UPS, and Coca-Cola have demonstrated, private companies can be leaders in cutting greenhouse gas emissions and addressing climate change. Authors Michael Vandenbergh and Jonathan Gilligan propose and demonstrate in their new book, Beyond Politics, that the world can buy time, “bypassing government gridlock on climate change," including bypassing aversion to government interventions, by looking to responses by corporations, colleges, advocacy groups, religious organizations, and households. In his talk at Penn State, Vandenbergh will highlight the contributions that the social sciences can offer to strengthen the private sector’s role, such as solutions messaging, accounting for positive and negative spillover effects, targeting behaviors likely to both matter and be changeable, and overcoming barriers to behavioral policy approaches while attending to inter- and intra-generational justice.

Co-sponsored by Penn State’s Sustainability Institute, Penn State Department of Psychology, and the Smeal College of Business

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