A User Study of Perceived Carbon Footprint (Papers Track)

Victor Kristof (EPFL); Valentin Quelquejay-Leclere (EPFL); Robin Zbinden (EPFL); Lucas Maystre (Spotify); Matthias Grossglauser (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)); Patrick Thiran (EPFL)

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We propose a statistical model to understand people’s perception of their carbon footprint. Driven by the observation that few people think of CO2 impact in absolute terms, we design a system to probe people’s perception from simple pairwise comparisons of the relative carbon footprint of their actions. The formulation of the model enables us to take an active-learning approach to selecting the pairs of actions that are maximally informative about the model parameters. We define a set of 18 actions and collect a dataset of 2183 comparisons from 176 users on a university campus. The early results reveal promising directions to improve climate communication and enhance climate mitigation.