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International Negotiations

COP26: What the public heard

18 May 2022

Media analysis by Climate Outreach suggests that international negotiations are key events not only for policy, but in shaping public attitudes on climate:

“The annual UN conference provides a yearly focus point for climate media stories, events and activists. While the focus is on policy making, this can have a significant associated impact on how citizens view and understand the issues being discussed. For example the perceived failure of COP15 in Copenhagen is associated with a significant downturn in public climate concern. Understanding the interplay between different elements within the plethora of coverage is crucial for public engagement.

Our analysis indicates that publics in general were engaged by COP26 and the majority felt more optimistic about chances of dealing with the climate change challenge by the end. Yet it is noticeable that there were marked differences in the dominant narratives between traditional media and those most loudly heard on social media and at cultural events. Does this matter? One possibility is that it doesn’t – and that as the climate conversation grows, it’s natural and right that differences of opinion will remain. But from a communications perspective, mixed messaging may impact on how people understand and relate to climate change – which could undermine effectiveness.”

Reference article:

  • Source: Climate Outreach
  • Author: Jamie Clarke
  • Date: 18th May 2022

The latest from the International Negotiations timeline:

Climate Barometer Tracker 30th November 2023

Tracker data: Nearly half of British public support climate compensation

According to our Climate Barometer Tracker, 48% of the public agree with the idea that “wealthy countries, with a history of high greenhouse gas emissions, should provide compensation to poorer countries for damages caused by the climate crisis”. By breaking this down by political voting behaviour, we see that the majority of this comes from Labour voters – with 65% agreeing. Of Conservative voters, 35% agree (and roughly equal numbers disagree) with the statement.

MPs, however, show a starker contrast, with Labour MPs in majority agreement (61%) and Conservative MPs in majority disagreement (58%).

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