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      The impact of COVID-19 related regulations and restrictions on mobility and potential for sustained climate mitigation across the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK: A data-based commentary.

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          Abstract

          Human behaviour change is necessary to meet targets set by the Paris Agreement to mitigate climate change. Restrictions and regulations put in place globally to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 during 2020 have had a substantial impact on everyday life, including many carbon-intensive behaviours such as transportation. Changes to transportation behaviour may reduce carbon emissions. Behaviour change theory can offer perspective on the drivers and influences of behaviour and shape recommendations for how policy-makers can capitalise on any observed behaviour changes that may mitigate climate change. For this commentary, we aimed to describe changes in data relating to transportation behavioursrelating to working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic across the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK. We display these identified changes in a concept map, suggesting links between the changes in behaviour and levels of carbon emissions. We consider these changes in relation to a comprehensive and easy to understand model of behaviour, the COM-B, to understand the capabilities, opportunities and behaviours related to the observed behaviour changes and potential policy to mitigate climate change. There is now an opportunity for policy-makers to increase the likelihood of maintaining pro-environmental behaviour changes by providing opportunities, improving capabilities and maintaining motivation for these behaviours.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          UCL Open: Environment Preprint
          UCL Press
          7 June 2021
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Centre for Behaviour Change, Department of Clinical, Educational & Health Psychology, University College London, UK.
          [2 ] Department of Psychology, University of Bath, UK.
          [3 ] Stockholm Environment Institute, Sweden.
          [4 ] Research Group Psychology for Sustainable Cities, Amsterdam Research Institute for Societal Innovation, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, the Netherlands.
          [5 ] Department of Psychology, Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences, University of Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands.
          [6 ] Department of Computer and Information Science, Linköping University, Sweden.
          [7 ] Stockholm Environment Institute, Sweden.
          [8 ] Stockholm Environment Institute, Sweden
          [9 ] Department of Psychology, Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences, University of Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands
          [10 ] Department of Psychology, University of Bath, UK; Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations (CAST).
          Article
          10.14324/111.444/000082.v1

          This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

          Funding
          NA NA

          Data sharing not applicable to this article as no datasets were generated or analysed during the current study.

          Social policy & Welfare, Psychology, Environmental management, Policy & Planning

          Behaviour change, COVID-19, Moment of change, Climate change, People and their environment, COM-B

          Comments

          Date: 20 September 2021

          Handling Editor: Prof Dan Osborn

          Editorial decision: Request revision. The Handling Editor requested revisions; the article has been returned to the authors to make this revision.

          Additonal comments by the Editor:

          I would now like to recommend that you revise your paper according to the three reviewers' comments and upload the revised paper as soon as possible. Please review the instructions for submitting a revised article in the editorial guidelines. All reviewers feel the paper makes a worthwhile contribution, but all raise points worth considering as they will strengthen the paper if they can be accounted for. Please take into particular consideration:

          • The sections of the reviewers' comments questioning aspects of the way links between Covid-19 regulations, mobility and climate change mitigation are being made. There are some particular comments about EV that seems well formulated and need answering. It may be worth pointing up that transport emissions are a difficult area to address but one that maybe particularly susceptible to a combination of new technology/market products and behaviour. Perhaps the supporting literature is limited in this respect (especially in terms of the Covid elements.) Do point up the peculiar situation that Covid created, and that this still needs more work to understand. The unique context for the paper needs to be very clear.
          • The Conclusion section could be strengthened - for example: does the information from each country suggest some common policy platform can be created or would there need to be separate policies in each country given the different dependency on the various modes of transport available or that are perceived to be needed in each country? All these countries have different transport mixes to meet the population mobility needs - can that factor be given slightly more prominence?
          • The validity and applicability of the behavioural model chosen needs some further justification. Has it been used in transport or mobility work previously? If so, what was its utility? Were any policy changes made if it was used?
          2021-09-22 10:48 UTC
          +1

          Date: 11 June 2021

          Handling Editor: Prof Dan Osborn

          This article is a preprint article and has not been peer-reviewed. It is under consideration following submission to UCL Open: Environment for open peer review.

          Additional comments by Editor:
          This article has been approved for submission and open peer review in UCL Open: Environment for the following reasons: 1) Well considered discourse on whether transport changes during Covid can affect climate change through semi-permanent modification in human behaviour; 2) A necessary stage in developing a comprehensive research agenda; 3) Appreciation of limitations on current knowledge and that a wider view of transport modes will be needed - e.g. aviation.

          2021-06-11 14:34 UTC
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