This guide is designed to provide practical advice about how to effectively talk about climate change during a global pandemic and recession.
The overwhelming majority of Australians agree that climate change is a problem. However, there are differing views when it comes to how fast we need to act, the costs and who should pay. Our challenge is to convince people that urgent action is not only required, but is also in their immediate economic interests. To do that, we need to overcome the common objections and myths that dampen enthusiasm for change, and emphasise the benefits in terms of jobs, and a more resilient and sustainable Australia. In short, we need to flip the frame that ‘climate action is harmful to economic prosperity’ to ‘climate action is crucial to economic prosperity’. At the same time, we must explain why the coal and gas industries are not a solution because fossil fuel projects are financially risky, dangerous, expensive and worsen climate change.
ABOUT THIS GUIDE
This guide is designed to provide practical advice about how to effectively talk about climate change during a global pandemic and recession. It was created by the Climate Media Centre, a project of the Climate Council. It was written by Dinah Arndt, a climate communications specialist and former reporter, and Adrian Dodd, a strategic communications professional.
It’s based on the findings of an extensive research project, which reviewed all available climate change research conducted in 2019 and 2020 (some publicly available, and some not) with an emphasis on Australian research. See Appendix A for more details. This was followed by our own qualitative research with a “persuadable” audience. That is, those who accept climate change is a problem, but don’t consider it urgent. The advice in this guide is designed to persuade these Australians – by explaining where such people are at, outlining what they are concerned about, and their priorities.
This guide also identifies the arguments being deployed by opponents to a renewables-led recovery, and outlines effective ways to overcome them.
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- About this Guide 2
- Your Cheat Sheet 3
- 1. The Fundamentals
- Current context 6
- Who is our audience? 7
- What’s our frame? 8
- What’s our goal? 9
- Key Findings 9
- 2. Jobs now, and a better tomorrow
- Climate action creates good jobs 10
- Solving long-term problems 11
- A self reliant and sustainable Australia 12
- It’s inevitable 14
- 3. Overcoming the Blockages
- How-to examples 16
- Credible messengers 18
- 4. Specific challenges
- Emissions reduction during lockdown 20
- The costs of climate change 21
- Coal and gas workers 25
- Linking climate impacts to our health 27
- The federal government’s failure to act 28
- 5. Appendix A
- About the research 30
- 6. Appendix B
- Climate impacts: the facts 31
- References 33
- Image credits 35
For other framing guides see – How to frame issues for social change impact.
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