Climate change forms the existential crisis of our time. Today, 72% of Americans see climate change occurring, and two-thirds feel a personal responsibility to reduce global warming. The trouble is, Americans don’t know what to do. We need to help them shift to taking climate action.
What can Americans do to fight climate change?
Fortunately, Rare has identified the highest-impact behaviors that Americans can adopt to reduce their greenhouse gas emission significantly. If an additional 10% of Americans adopt these behaviors, it will reduce U.S. emissions exponentially—by nearly as much as the combined annual emissions from New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago (the three largest U.S. metro areas).
Rare’s U.S. climate program harnesses our expertise in using the science of human behavior to empower tens of millions of Americans to act against climate change. Collectively, individual actions can reduce emissions significantly while strengthening the constituency demanding climate-positive policies. While we still need larger changes from corporations and governments, we can each find at least one way to make positive changes now.
The areas and behaviors that matter most for individual American action
If publishing a list of climate-friendly changes worked to change people’s behavior, humans would have solved this by now. Rare’s decades of work to inspire individual and community change have taught us a good deal about human nature. We make changes when we see our friends and neighbors making them. And, we make changes when they’re easier to make.
Rare’s core strategy engages people’s social nature, showing how these actions fit into busy lives, and encouraging those who adopt the behaviors to share their journeys. The program applies behavioral science to build momentum through four channels: