Carbon Logic Results are out!

We’ve finished the data analysis. I have to say we are delighted, the result is much better than we thought!
Cost per tonne to cut carbon = £1.98!

Summary Results

  • Footsteps to Copenhagen started in 2009, Truro Cathedral asked me to mobilise the people of Cornwall to cut carbon.

o   With a fantastic Steering Group we devised 10 carbon cutting pledges and one declaration
o   4488 organisations and individuals made pledges and signed the declaration

  •  The 2010 research asked why people made the pledges. They said trusted messengers asked them to, it was colourful and fun – but most of all easy.
  • In 2015 we Crowdfunded for expenses to do the data analysis to ask how much carbon did we cut and breathe life into the pledges again through the Carbon logic Campaign. 

o   Based on 65 people answering the 2015 survey, who took part in 2009, then scaling those responses up to the 993 we have evidence of pledging, we have cut 3029 tonnes of carbon since 2009.
o   The 2009 project cost £6k. 3 Pledges could not be accounted for, the 2015 report finds the cost per tonne of carbon to cut as £1.98.
What can I do now?
This enables us all to ask MPs and policy makers to not give up on behavioural change policy, to notice the added value of these pledges (including one that could not be accounted for but does lead people to think about resilience) and for everyone to adopt the Top Ten Pledges created – at home and at work


For us we want to enable policy makers to realise the value in behavioural change policy, not only added value in our pledges, but the value of working through with people and tricky policy making. Behavioural change policy is a challenge as people are ‘messy’ we all reposed in different ways, but having looked at behavioural change research in a big way in 2009, the 10 Pledges were devised to accommodate all our funny little ways, our different financial back grounds, upbringing, surroundings and find ways to make them colourful, easy and doable!
So the comments and questions people have kindly directed at us you might find interesting:
COP21 delegates are largely government representatives, who already know their position. It’s a huge and diverse audience which I think you would struggle to have any impact on, to be honest. There is also traditionally a vast amount of related material pushed out around COP, and there’s a danger that output will be overlooked in the stramash. Agreed, Euan McPhee is voluntarily cycling from Truro in Cornwall to COP21 in Paris November 17th and he is taking copies of the report with him. He will hand out the Top Ten Pledges on a card to people he meets en route (we are looking for sponsorship to print the cards).  
What sort of scale are you looking at – local, national, European, international? We would like to roll out the project across the South West, throughout the UK and to our neighbours. Footsteps 2009 is easily replicable, with the right Steering Group (Trusted Messengers), we just need funding to cut carbon – to organise next a way of making it sustainable. It could pay for itself, the power companies that benefit from Pledge 1 or the shops from Pledge 2. This is more work that requires funding. Or we source funding from those who seek to cut carbon – £1.98 a tonne is of course extremely efficient. Signposting and introductions are welcome. 
Who are you hoping to influence – the public, policy-makers, local government, community leaders? I think we have to realign everyone with “it can be done” first – so all of them. Its simple, we have 10 very, very busy Carbon Logic Ambassadors, who are managing to squeeze it into their lives, publicly and with great rewards breathing life into simple actions that make huge differences. We would like everyone to adopt the pledges at work and at home, clicking the tick box as they do them
It should be made clear that much carbon emission saving can be done without cost (e.g. turning down the thermostat by 1 or 2 degrees in winter) Great point
From your evidence, further reductions can be obtained at a very reasonable cost Great point – saving people even more money in the longer term at the same time
In addition some of these behaviour changes (e.g. active transport) will have health co-benefits: a more active population is a more healthy population, and of course less car miles means less local air pollution – this will mean savings to the NHS Thank you – I’m sending the report to The Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP now, I have asked him to comment and invited him to do the Top Ten Pledges too.  We meet with my own MP tomorrow morning to ask her to do the 10 Pledges too.
Carbon capture and storage is unproven, no large scale demonstration has been carried out, also potential large safety questions; Thank you, we did spend quite a bit of time during our literature review seeking a consensus of opinion, but found a great deal of uncertainty in time scales, costs and abilities. While it is clear many believe having this volume of carbon dealt with is essential, I hope our 4 month set up enabling over 3000 tonnes to be cut over 6 years enables policy makers to do something with this model.
The government’s climate change mitigation policies are a mess This is the most common message we hear. We do understand how complicated it all seems to those tasked with the job, who might not have  a natural interest, but really hope by demonstrating this example they might take the opportunity to realise the benefits. For them it comes down to cost, £1.98 per tonne of carbon to cut. For us its how easy is it what the benefits to me. This Carbon Logic Project has ticked both of those boxes. We hope everyone involved will at least ask one person in authority to adopt the pledges and DO something with them. 
Will you be producing materials for people to use in their own communities? We aim to direct people to via our website, Facebook and twitter. We hope others will also do the same. We aim to create Top Ten Pledges items to gift and display for the home and workplace to build it into every day lives to provide a good route map for living – this is one of Carbon Ambassadors great ideas!

We have heard today about this group of people who would like to see more help from the bottom up;

Reinvigorating International Climate Policy: A Comprehensive Framework for Effective Nonstate Action
(Global Policy, forthcoming in November 2015)
Sander Chan, Harro van Asselt, Thomas Hale, Kenneth W. Abbott, Marianne Beisheim, Matthew Hoffmann, Brendan Guy, Niklas Höhne, Angel Hsu, Philipp Pattberg, Pieter Pauw, Céline Ramstein, Oscar Widerberg
As countries negotiate a new climate agreement for the Paris climate summit in December 2015, a groundswell of climate actions is emerging as cities, regions, businesses, and civil society groups act on mitigation and adaptation, independently, with each other and with national governments and international organizations. The Paris summit provides a historic opportunity to develop a framework to catalyze, support, and steer these initiatives. Without such a framework, “bottom-up” governance runs the risk of failing to deliver meaningful results. Social science research highlights the need for a comprehensive approach that promotes ambition, experimentation and accountability, and avoids unnecessary overlaps. This article specifies functions and design principles for a new, comprehensive framework for sub- and nonstate climate actions that could provide effective coordination.
Download pre-publication (PDF) at:


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