2O2CM - Overcoming Obstacles and Disincentives to Climate Change Mitigation:

A cross-cutting approach by human and social sciences

A SOLSTICE Paneuropean project, involving Belgium, France and Norway

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Project's outline

This research project has the theoretical and transformative aim to improve the scientific understanding of obstacles and disincentives to climate change mitigation and to understand how multimodal devices can operate on them, through the interdisciplinary collaboration between linguistics and social psychological approaches. The project will provide a practical tool in the form of an open-source research toolbox proposing advice, models and resources to public authorities and concerned citizen on climate change communication strategies.

Through linguistic and discursive analyses of survey discourse (i.e., answers to open-ended questions) and of social media (Twitter), combining narrative and polyphonic perspectives, the aim of the project is to contribute to an innovative understanding of European citizens’ opinions about obstacles versus opportunities to reducing GHG emissions and thus to the climate change mitigation.

WP2 (Norway) investigates how people perceive and interpret narratives concerning climate change issues and how social actors construct their positions on climate change by mediating different voices in society.

WP3 and WP4 (Belgium) will focus on a semiotic and rhetoric approach of on-line discourses, aimed at identifying the signs of obstacles and difficulties concerning climate change verbal and visual contents, in connexion with WP2. We will specifically focus on the interaction between image and text, by analyzing manually and automatically a corpus of messages from Twitter and Reddit and videos and images from Youtube and Instagram.

In line with WP2, WP5 and WP6 (France) is targeted to examine how and why individuals can remain indifferent, skeptical to the risks of climate change and what interventions might be done in order to convert apathy into action. Firstly, social psychological factors that determine individual engagement in pro-environmental behaviours will be examined. Secondly, the effects of the climate change threat will be examined on individual behaviours and responses, in connexion with WP2. The methods will combine qualitative as well as quantitative surveys and laboratory experiments (including eye-tracker and face-reader evaluations).

The project started 1 December 2020, for 3 years.

Project's investigators:

  • Prof Andrea Catellani - UCLouvain
  • Dr Louise-Amélie Cougnon - UCLouvain
  • Prof Olivier De Schutter - UCLouvain
  • Prof Serge Guimond - Universite Clermont Auvergne
  • Dr Armelle Nugier - Université Clermont Auvergne
  • Prof Michel Streith - Université Clermont Auvergne
  • Mrs Sophie Monceau - Université Clermont Auvergne
  • Prof Kjersti Fløttum - University of Bergen
  • Prof Øyvind Gjerstad - University of Bergen

Project researchers:

  • Andrea Pizarro Pedraza (Post-doc) - UCLouvain
  • Yuliya Samofalova (Phd student) - UCLouvain
  • Rose Harrington (Phd student) - Universite Clermont Auvergne
  • Kamilla Khamzina (Post-doc) - Universite Clermont Auvergne
  • Francis Badiang Oloko (Associate Professor) - University of Bergen