Climate Outreach: Communicating climate change during the Covid-19 crisis: what the evidence says

The world has changed and climate advocates are having to change with it, adapting plans and campaigns to a profoundly new external environment. Timing and sensitivity are paramount in communicating climate change during Covid-19 – otherwise, the climate sector risks undermining climate action for the long term.

The guide provides evidence about how to engage people on climate change while we’re dealing with another crisis. Through 10 principles, the guide provides insights into what effective climate communications can look like during the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.

Key messages

  • A sustained period of disruption seems likely – health, social, economic, food.
  • Advocates for climate action face a complicated situation.
  • Unpredictable dynamics in societies around the world.
  • Timing and sensitivity need to be considered.
  • Some principles from previous experiences help such as communications have to be sensitive to the
    the need of the audience or they will backfire.
  • Trusted messengers are needed.
  • New behaviours: a lot of behaviour is habitual and is affected by change and the role of government is key.
  • Social norms guide behaviour.
  • Opening up conversations about lifestyle changes that have been beneficial for health, quality of life is needed. Seeking policy mechanisms and social consent to embed those changes.

The full briefing can be found here.