Moving Forward in Climate Change Communication: Recommendations for Rethinking Strategies and Frames
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Climate change communication tailored to different target groups aims at creating awareness of climate change and willingness to engage in climate change mitigation, adaptation, and transformation, thus fostering a development towards a low-carbon society. As there is a long way to reach these goals, the question remains how to create effective communication strategies and topics. This paper identifies the status quo of climate change communication including existing challenges by taking the example of Austria. 101 stakeholders from science, civil society, public administration, media, and economy, who are actively communicating climate change, were questioned on their goals, target groups, strategies, and topics of communication. Further, they were asked to assess existing challenges in climate change communication from their experience as communicators. In order to derive recommendations for a practical application, the results were discussed in expert interviews. Recommendations include a stronger institutionalisation of climate change communication as well as target-group-specific communication strategies. The findings presented in this paper contribute to a greater understanding of climate change communication in its practical dimension. They can support stakeholders in applying climate change communication approaches aiming towards sustainable development, by contributing to the implementation of climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies.
KeywordsClimate change communication Communicator’s experience Communication strategies Framing Transdisciplinarity
We would like to thank the Climate Change Centre Austria (CCCA) for financing the networking project C4Austria—Connecting Climate Change Communicators in Austria. The paper has additionally been prepared in the framework of ACRP financing—special thanks go to the Austrian Climate and Energy Fund. Further, we would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the success of this study, especially the climate change communicators involved in the project, the participants of the online-survey, and the interviewed experts.
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