What is sobriety?

Monday, 16 January 2023

Sobriety, as defined by the IPCC, is a set of policies, measures and everyday practices that avoid demands on energy, materials, goods and land, while ensuring the well-being of all humans within planetary limits. In other words, it is a question of questioning real needs and adapting the response in order to consume less energy or raw materials, and to limit greenhouse gas emissions and environmental impacts. Sobriety can concern all sectors: food, transport, housing, consumption of goods and services.  

According to the IPCC, sobriety must be at the heart of structural and collective changes, as well as individual changes. This profound change is at the heart of one of ADEME’s four scenarios: the “Frugal Generation”. But the reduction in demand for energy and goods and services is also present in the other scenarios, with a reduction ranging from 23% to 55% compared to 2015 depending on the scenario.  

The LIFE_LETsGO4Climate project is based on 2 axes to develop sobriety:  

On the one hand, the emergence of collective citizen projects in favour of more sobriety: during citizen workshops, participants are asked to propose collective projects related to more sober food, travel, housing and consumption. Examples of such projects are presented to them during workshop 3, such as La Prêteuse Abraysienne: a bricothèque that contributes to the energy transition. watch the report on the bricothèque

On the other hand, to encourage individual behavioural change: two schemes are proposed to encourage sobriety at the individual level. On the one hand, training in the facilitation of Carbon Conversations is proposed for people wishing to bring about a strong behavioural change in their professional or associative environment. This method, which originated in the United Kingdom, is an individual journey, within a small group of trust, towards a more sober lifestyle. In addition, Challenges will be organised in each territory, a way of reducing consumption in the home in a fun way. 

To find out more about sobriety: “Negawatt’s 50 proposals to reduce energy consumption for the winter”: https://www.negawatt.org/IMG/pdf/220927_sobriete-propositions-chiffrees-de-negawatt.pdf