A greener shade of blue — communicating climate change on the right
Talking Climate’s Adam Corner recently took part in a panel debate organised by the right-of-centre think tank Policy Exchange. The event was titled ‘A greener shade of blue – communicating climate change on the right‘, and was billed as being an opportunity to explore ways of improving the way that political conservatives communicated about climate change.
The panel featured two Conservative MPs – Peter Lilley and Tim Yeo – and the Guardian Environment Editor Damian Carrington. A video of the entire event was posted on the Policy Exchange website, and is also available here:
Damian Carrington blogged about the event the next day, arguing that a lack of leadership on the right was the main issue that the Conservative Party faced when it came to making progress on climate change. The website Carbon Brief also reported on the panel discussion, observing the difficulty of even talking about how to communicate climate change more effectively when certain members of the audience (and one of the panelists – Peter Lilley) were sceptical about climate change itself.
Although the exchanges between the panel and the audience were illuminating in some regards – with valuable discussion about the merits of framing the climate challenge as being primarily about energy choices for a conservative-leaning audience – a great deal of the evening was taken up by the climate-sceptic views of the MP Peter Lilley, who diverted the debate away from matters of communication, despite the best efforts of the Policy Exchange chair Guy Newey.
Aside from the difficulties in keeping the debate focused on the topic advertised, however, the event was an important first step in raising the issue of how to break the disconnect between conservatism and climate change in the UK, and we hope to work with Policy Exchange again in the future.
Make a comment