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Football and climate change: strange bedfellows or a means of going beyond the usual suspects in encouraging pro-environmental behavioural change?

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Local Environment, Volume 15, Number 9, p.851-866 (2010)



Academics and policy-makers claim that community-based organisations may be able to encourage individuals to adopt pro-environmental behavioural changes; however, at present, there is limited research-based evidence to support this assertion. This paper sets out to provide a contribution to the evidence base by examining the role that community can play in tackling climate change. It does this through a case study analysis of a community-based pro-environmental behavioural-change campaign - Ipswich Town Football Club's ìSave Your Energy for the Bluesî campaign. The paper examines existing theories on encouraging behavioural change based on a range of cognitive and contextual constraints. Based on the findings of this research, the paper goes on to suggest that by focusing on the individual as the appropriate unit of change, much current policy fails to incorporate the contextual constraints that may limit an individual's ability to adopt behavioural change regardless of their willingness to do so. The case study analysis indicates how framing of appropriate responses to climate change in a largely positive light, with a range of individual, collective and environmental benefits, is shown to have resonated strongly with many participants in the campaign, including a significant number whose participation was not based on pro-environmental values.