The project will include policy and decision-makers of local, national and European levels from the project start in order to create ownership of resulting policy options flowing from the research in this project. The information we will gather is relevant for decision makers as it bridges the gap and increases the understanding of what is needed for a successful communication and action between individual households and political levels, more specifically on the potentials and barriers to individual climate friendly choices.
To serve this purpose, a “Policy Advisory Board” (PAB) will be set in each study location. It will be comprised of 8 to 10 experts on local climate policies, such as individuals working in public administration, as well as public and private stakeholders.
Why do we need a PAB?
The PAB is set to accompany us from the very beginning of this three year project (2015-2017) to guarantee a close intertwining of theory and practice. By including the committee, we hope to be informed about ongoing projects on a municipal level (e.g. construction of environmentally friendly homes or establishment of green spaces) and assure that this information is considered in our research.
At a yearly forum, the committee will have the opportunity to be informed about the progress and results of the project. Consequently, we hope to close the gap between scientific findings and political reality.
What is the task of the PAB?
The goal of the HOPE project is not only to gain new insights on the readiness of households to lead a more climate friendly life, but also to identify tangible measures for change. Ultimately, we want to be able to formulate recommendations of action for policy-makers, based on the newly gained knowledge. To ensure that these will be implemented, political practice has to be taken into consideration. This is the only way the HOPE Project can create extraordinary additional value for the endeavor to counteract climate change.
How does the PAB work?
In each of the participating nations, a committee advising us on implementation of local climate policies will be established. We have already received confirmations from the French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, as well as from the Ministry of Climate and Environment in Norway.
Once a year, a forum for the PAB members in each study location will be arranged. At this year’s forum the catalogue of measures used for the household surveys in 2016, will be presented. We hope to receive constructive feedback from the committee, in order to be able to make potential adjustments in time. In addition, it would be of great value to receive information on advantages and disadvantages of similar, concluded or ongoing projects in other communities of the respective countries. This would enable an information exchange with the involved researchers and political decision-makers. Lastly, it would be essential to obtain information on whether measures in the catalogue are applicable in practice and into whose area of responsibility they would fall (e.g. federal or municipal responsibility).
In the second year of the project, preliminary results will be presented and compared with the experience of the committee members. At the third forum the implementation of the preferred measures of households in the respective study locations will be discussed. This exchange is especially important for the formulation of practicable recommendations of action for policy-makers.