Springer

Fitting a Vital Linkage Piece into the Multidimensional Emissions-reduction Puzzle: Nongovernmental Pathways to Consumption Changes in the PRC and the USA

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Abstract 
The United States and China are responsible for nearly 40 per cent of total annual greenhouse gas emissions. Global climatic stabilization cannot succeed without the participation of people and organizations in the PRC and the USA. Given the likelihood of continued political paralysis at the national level in both countries, it is important to assess the strengths, weaknesses, and potential of nongovernmental actors in bringing about durable reductions in GHG emissions. Consumption trajectories present one of the most intractable barriers to anthropogenic GHG-emissions reductions and to long-term climatic stabilization. Nordlund and Garvill's (2003) model is adapted and applied in assessing prospects for value change, specific problem awareness, and sustainable-consumption behavior in the PRC and USA. The contributions of nonstate actors are elucidated when issue bundling (specifically links with stress reduction and healthy futures) and principle bundling are incorporated into the explanatory framework. The involvement of transnationally competent activists in emissions-mitigation projects, value change, and durable sustainable-consumption practices provides a beacon for future possibilities. Chinese transnationals are a key overlooked and underestimated piece in the current emissions-reduction puzzle because of their critical position at the intersection of values, behavior change, and nongovernmental institutions directly and indirectly involved in climatic-change mitigation. Given their special U.S./P.R.C. leverage, other actors concerned with building a sustainable-consumption movement and with climatic stabilization are likely to benefit from devoting increased attention and responsibilities to this group.

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