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    Agni

    My impression is that where acisivtm receives public funding, this most often involves projects in less affluent areas. It is easier for councils or other agencies to justify spending public money in those areas. In that sense, acisivtm is engaging more working class people. If what you want to do is tackle carbon emissions, this is a bit odd, because people on low incomes have lower emissions. It’s difficult to get public money for a project that will lower the emissions of the rich, even though, from a mitigation perspective, this is where the largest carbon reductions could be achieved. There is a similar tension where climate change funding is spent overseas. In DFID especially, low carbon development money ought to be pro-poor, so it benefits poor people more than it does others. But obviously the poorest people abroad have extremely low carbon footprints in the first place. I witnessed an agricultural development project in rural Tanzania, where new techniques were being introduced because they were low carbon. It was truly absurd. There were practically zero carbon reductions to be made there, but it still sounds good to those with money to spend, because you are supposedly tackling poverty and climate change in one go. Obviously it’s a different story for adaptation. To respond to this question: Can we really expect poorer people to make the drastic changes to their lifestyles that we want? I suspect this is being framed as an ethical question (is it acceptable to expect ?). I am answering it in a more practical way (is it realistic to expect .?). I think it’s not realistic. Very few people will make drastic changes to their lifestyle for climate reasons. And many will resent environmentalists who tell or expect them to change (back to ethics then). This is why the footprint language is problematic more generally. It shoves responsibility on to the individual, but the individual doesn’t want to change behaviour. For reducing emissions, systems need targeting. This has bigger impact. People walk down the streets designed for them. Footprint language gets us walking on tip-toes. Systems language gets us re-designing the street.

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