Washington: Lessons learned from the pandemic about shifting people's behaviour will be applied to policies to counter climate change and disinformation in the future, leading scientists said Thursday.
Carlos Scartascini, from the Inter-American Development Bank, said behavioural tools became critical in the pandemic, in a panel at the Reuters Next conference.
"When you say 'wash your hands' - you can say (it) 20 times, but if you don't change the way you say people basically do not react," he said.
Dr. Laura de Moliere, who heads up behavioural science in the UK Cabinet office, said a better understanding of human behaviour became critical to policymakers in the pandemic, and that should carry forward.
"Climate change is probably quite an obvious one, where if we aren't designing rules and regulations well, we will be seeing rebound effects where people are insulating their houses, but then buying bigger houses because the energy is cheaper," she said.
She said transparency of decision-making, central to COVID communication, would also be important for winning support for climate change policies.
"There's lots of really interesting avenues for behavioural science application that have arisen because of the pandemic," said Mary MacLennan, the co-founder of the United Nations Behavioral Science Group.