Abstract for: Enhancing the causal understanding of rebound effects: a catalogue of mechanisms and a formalisation procedure

Rebound Effects (RE) hinder achieving the intended effects of sustainability actions. Despite the wide recognition of RE, the limited understanding of the causal structures sustaining RE hampers the ability to anticipate, prevent, or tackle them. This paper describes various structures leading to RE based on qualitative System Dynamics (SD) modelling using Causal Loop Diagrams (CLD). More specifically, to demonstrate the use of CLDs for RE, 27 RE mechanisms were modelled and organised in a comprehensive catalogue of mechanisms. Two generic RE mechanisms are derived from the catalogue, depicting RE as either fixes that fail or escalation structures. A procedure for using content analysis following the definition of rebound mechanisms sustains formalising the mechanisms. The catalogue, generic structures and formalising procedure showcase that qualitative SD modelling has much to contribute to areas dominated by descriptive characterization and linear thinking examination.