Communicating climate change

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What is the best way to create written or spoken mater­ials that really inspire people?

Language  is abso­lutely crit­ical to com­mu­nic­ating effect­ively about cli­mate change, and Talking Climate con­tains a series of guides to effective cli­mate change communication.

Individual words and longer phrases are important – avoiding jargon, and knowing how an audi­ence is likely to respond to par­tic­ular terms is essen­tial. This guide describes the most effective methods for com­mu­nic­ating cli­mate change.

But effective com­mu­nic­a­tion is about more than just picking the right words – the way mes­sages are framed, the values they speak to and the nar­rat­ives that bring the cli­mate change mes­sage alive are incred­ibly powerful. Getting to grips with the growing body of research on how to use framing to effect­ively target par­tic­ular atti­tudes and beha­viours is essential.

Many cli­mate change com­mu­nic­ators spend a great deal of time coun­tering the argu­ments of those who do not accept the sci­ence of cli­mate change. However, there is now a growing body of evid­ence that cli­mate change scep­ti­cism is not really about cli­mate sci­ence – it is about people’s polit­ical view­points and world­views, which the sci­ence of cli­mate change seems to chal­lenge. This guide describes the social sci­ence research that is get­ting to the bottom of the real reasons for cli­mate scep­ti­cism, while this sec­tion out­lines the key mes­sages from studies of public per­cep­tions of cli­mate change.

The media are an important influ­ence on public atti­tudes towards cli­mate change, and this guide provides an intro­duc­tion to media reporting on cli­mate change, while the most effective ways of using images to com­mu­nicate cli­mate change are out­lined here. And our com­pre­hensive list of cli­mate change com­mu­nic­a­tion resources avail­able online con­tains a number of essen­tial resources for cre­ating effective written or spoken materials.

Related guides

  1. Communicating cli­mate sci­ence
  2. Resources for com­mu­nic­ating cli­mate change
  3. <a href=“” title=“Permanent link to Values & frames”>Values & frames
  4. Encouraging sus­tain­able beha­viour
  5. Public per­cep­tions of cli­mate change

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This website, a project of Climate Outreach (COIN), has been integrated into the new Climate Outreach website. Any updates since 21 October 2015 have been made to the new website only, not here, and this website will soon be deleted. Please bookmark our new website – we look forward to continuing to share the latest in climate communication research with you. We are now tweeting from @climateoutreach so please follow us there.