363.4 Possibilités et limites de la logique des "écogestes"

Thursday, August 2, 2012: 3:15 PM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Laurence GRANCHAMP FLORENTINO , Sciences sociales, Laboratoire Cultures et Sociétés en Europe, Université de Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France
In France, a large number of local authorities are trying to traduce in their local policies the challenges of global warming. Based on measures allotting 47% of the greenhouse gases to the households, they try to involve the citizens in this cause.

When addressed to individuals, the communication strategy is all oriented to what is called the “eco-gestures”; these refers to practices supposed easy to be adopted, and which would allow citizens to reduce their personal greenhouse gases production.

I have studied a group of citizens, living in a French countryside near Germany, who have participated to an experiment of voluntary limitation of their greenhouse gases emissions. During two years, though a regular measure of their emissions in their habitation, transports, alimentation and consumption, they were receiving some advises from an ecological association to try to reduce these greenhouse gases emissions.

I focused particularly my attention on the conflicts, tensions or gaps that appears between their pattern of an “ecological concerned citizen”, and their practices. I observe the way they tend to solve these personal conflicts, through defensive discourses, but also through marginal or more substantial changes. I make two principal assessments. First, the environmental motivations rarely are sufficient to drive to a significant change, but they may help in the decision and the kind of choices made. Second, the minor changes can also lead to a spiral of changes or a “gearing effect”. Despite the logical of “eco-gestures” play a role in mobilisation of the citizens, and should not be neglected, it also has its limits, and cannot substitute for action of local authorities at a more structural level.