APE’s approach is informed by a set of operating principles that we feel passionately about.
We believe that the majority of people continue to remain unaware of what climate change means for the world or how their own personal emissions contribute to the problem. We believe that people will respond positively to the problem once they become aware of what friends, colleagues and neighbors are doing. Few go it alone unless they have peer support or a good example to follow.
We believe that there are major obstacles for people wishing to adopt low carbon lifestyles. Much of the information is not accessible, overly technical or hard to translate into the actual circumstances of people’s lives. Time is in short supply and few people can afford the time and effort to do the necessary research and follow-up. The biggest obstacle that people face is that they are often very isolated, lacking encouragement or contact with others taking similar steps.
We believe that people are most successful in achieving change when they have support for their decisions. This comes best when people work together – connecting with others, doing similar things and sharing experience.
We believe that the most important knowledge held by people is the personal experience gained from trying something. This generates the learning that is most useful to others. APE activities all aim to have an action-learning component building on personal experience and a diversity of viewpoints.
People require that the government provides a clear framework to guide their actions along with policies and incentives that reward personal initiative. At present government support is inadequate, incoherent, and rarely relevant to people’s actual needs. Change is also required in the corporate sector. Companies need to provide adequate market information, tools for consumers to assess alternative products, and greater transparency on availability of new products. Improved services are needed to deliver an integrated package of household greenhouse gas reduction measures.