Crafting New National Narratives On Climate Change

070214COINHearthandHiraeth_OrigOne of the biggest challenges climate communicators face is devising messages that resonate with a broad swath of the public. New research from the Climate Outreach & Information Network, however, suggests that framing climate change in terms of national identity and national values can be a powerful way to build support for solutions.
 
Interestingly, the research found that narratives built around themes of cultural belonging resonate more strongly than narratives that focus on national superiority or competitiveness. While the research was designed to shape messages specifically targeted toward residents of Wales, the insights presented in the report carry weight across countries and cultures. For more insights about building effective climate communication messages, check out ecoAmerica‘s latest research on Americans’ climate values, and underlying motivations: American Climate Values 2014: Psychographic and Demographic Insights.

 

How to Build Climate Narratives Around National Identity and Cultural Pride

George Marshall, Co-Founder of the Climate Outreach & Information Network
 
A new report by the Climate Outreach and Information Network (COIN) argues that language built on people’s shared sense of national identity can create a common commitment to action, providing an important strategy for overcoming the political and attitudinal divides around climate change.
 
The report, Hearth and Hiraeth: Constructing Climate Change Narratives around National Identity draws on the findings of a major programme COIN led for the Welsh Government. This programme developed language and narratives that could work with all social groups and be applied in all its communications.
 
The two-year programme built on the latest research into climate change attitudes and a detailed analysis of cultural values. It conducted rigorous testing of messages in groups that had been recruited according to a values-based segmentation model. It is one of the first programmes in the world to apply the research into values-based climate communications across an entire country.
 
Read more.
 
Image credit: Climate Outreach & Information Network

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