The role of framing and message-tailoring in communicating climate change

Communicating climate change is a tricky business. Giving people facts about, for example, increasing global temperature or rising sea level doesn’t always result in positive changes in behaviour. A different – and perhaps more effective – strategy is to use framing-based approaches and tailor climate messages for different audiences. Framing involves emphasising certain elements of

Communicating the 1.5°C target

International climate negotiations are conducted in the language of headline numbers, such as global average temperatures and calculations of how many more gigatonnes of greenhouse gases remain in our planetary budget. These calculations are essential to setting targets and monitoring progress of different countries in meeting their obligations to international agreements. However, this technical and

Emotions and climate communication

Climate change is an issue with a huge emotional range. It can elicit passionate opinions and emotions in some, and complete indifference in others. However, while emotions are forceful drivers of behaviour, there are chronic issues in their study and use in climate change communication, in both research and practice. While certain emotions tend to

Values, worldviews and ideology

Values Public engagement with energy and climate change can’t be easily reduced to a simple rule of thumb, but some aspects of human psychology are more fundamental – and explain more variation in attitudes and behaviours – than others. People’s attitudes on different topics may morph and shift over time; they may switch allegiances between

Science & advocacy: should climate change scientists engage in policy advocacy?

Confronting the risks presented by climate change will involve input from scientists – but scientists are not decision-makers elected to make policy decisions. So how should the expertise and opinions of scientists be factored into political and societal choices about climate change? Most people want scientists to remain politically neutral and independent; climate-change scientists should

Do people need to know more to care more?

Are the public disengaged with scientific topics like climate change simply because they lack knowledge in the subject? It might be easy to assume this, but research has shown that the relationship between scientific literacy and concern about/engagement with climate change is not straightforward. That doesn’t mean we should dismiss knowledge as a factor that

Communicating uncertainty

Uncertainty is very ordinary. We all navigate uncertainties in our everyday life: the weather, when we might get sick, who’ll win an election, whether the bus will be on time or get stuck in traffic. We often see arguments for inaction on climate change based on uncertainty – if we don’t know for sure how