Open Conference Systems, RUC Sunrise Triple C Conference: Climate – Change – Communication

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Mikkel Fugl Eskjær

Last modified: 2010-04-14


This paper is concerned with the challenges that currently face global climate change communication. Given that climate change communication represents the main source of information for the general public, and that climate change communication is the primary means to create a global ecological responsibility, it is crucial to understand the different challenges to climate change communication, while also pointing out some possible solutions.

The paper proceeds by first looking into the variety of challenges that confronts climate change communication at the present moment. Based on a description of how climate change communication has developed in the recent two decades, the paper outlines three different types of communicative challenges:


    * Strategic challenges (political and commercial efforts to use climate change communication for strategic reasons and purposes).

    * Systemic challenges (conditions and constraints of the media system).

    * Global challenges (unequal distribution of global climate change information).

 This is followed by different suggestions of how to overcome these challenges. While some of the solutions are rather simple and well known (e.g. upgrading science communication; supporting environmental journalism in developing countries), other solution still need to be "discovered". This paper suggests that climate change communication can learn from existing disciplines such as Crisis, Risk, and Development communication in order to find communicative means to reach and engage people in the process of mitigation and adaptation to the risks of climate change.

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