A growing body of work aims to understand the impacts of climate change on agriculture as well as farmer’s perceptions of climate change and their likeliness to adopt adapting and mitigating behaviors. Despite this, little work has considered how intention to adopt differs from actual adoption of climate change practices in agriculture. Applying the Theory of Planned Behavior we aim to assess whether different factors affect intended versus actual adoption of climate behaviors among farmers in New Zealand. Data were collected through mixed methods (37 interviews and a telephone survey of 490 farmers) in two regions of New Zealand 2010–2012. Through multiple regression models we test hypotheses related to the Theory of Planned Behavior around the role of attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived capacity in affecting intended and actual adoption. Results suggest that there are different drivers of intended and actual adoption of climate change practices. Climate change attitudes and belief is only associated with intended not actual adoption. We find no evidence that subjective norms (climate change policy support) significantly influence either intention or actual adoption. Only perceived capacity and self-efficacy were important predictors of both intended and actual adoption. These results suggest a disconnect between intended and actual behavior change and that using data about intention as a guiding factor for program and policy design may not be prudent. Furthermore, fostering perceived capacity and self-efficacy for individuals may be crucial for encouraging both intended and actual adoption of climate adapting and mitigating behaviors.
Niles, M.T., Brown, M., Dynes, R. (2016) Farmer's intended and actual adoption of climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies. Climatic Change, 135: 277-295.