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International Negotiations

Media analysis: News of protests at COP26 outstripped coverage of the conference itself

15 November 2021

In analysis by Kantar, coverage of protests at COP26 was found to have outstripped coverage of the conference itself (in traditional media).

On social media, Geta Thunberg was one of the biggest presences on Twitter, driving engagement with traditional coverage of COP26 protests.

What the public ‘sees’ at climate conferences can shape wider climate beliefs – and although there was small but significant increase in public optimism during the course of COP26, the dominance of protests in traditional and social media is likely to have conveyed an overall impression of the conference as a ‘problem’ (to be protested against) rather than part of the solution.

Reference article:

  • Date: 15th November 2021

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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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