Meat consumption behaviours contribute significantly to global greenhouse gas emissions. Interventions to enable meat consumption reductions need to consider the psychological barriers preventing behavioural changes. Our aims were twofold; (1) to explore the psychological barriers to reducing meat consumption and how they can be overcome through a Rapid Evidence Review; and (2) to explore the usefulness of integrating the Kollmuss and Agyeman (K&A) model of pro-environmental behaviour and psychological distance, which provides the analytical framework. This review utilised three databases, focussing on empirical studies since 2010, which returned 277 results with seven eligible studies. We found that habit is the most significant psychological barrier to change, however, values and attitudes could act as moderating variables. We found gaps in the behavioural mechanism, indicating the presence of direct and indirect psychological barriers. We identified several actionable policy recommendations, such as utilising co-benefits, the importance of values in messaging, and targeting repeated behaviours. We found that study outcomes did not always translate into policy recommendations, and they were limited by existing policy paradigms. Psychological distance provides additional explanatory power, when combined with the K&A model, therefore, integrating psychological distance across pro-environmental behavioural research and policy could improve the effectiveness of interventions.
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