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5 ways to garner public support for climate change: Recs from our Report

By Wendee Nicole
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Our 'Hot off the press' Recommendations Report summarizes the results from several working sessions from the American Climate Leadership Summit, which we convened October 25 and 26, at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. with more than 300 national leaders from across sectors and society.  

Today, we highlight actionable results from the Summit, which are also highlighted within the report. Below are five actions you can use to accelerate public support for climate solutions. 

  1. Focus on empowering leaders and influencers: Mobilize those with the financial resources to invest in climate solutions. Engage youth leaders through their vocational and school activities. Give a voice to those in coastal communities who are particularly vulnerable. Leverage role-models such as people in entertainment and thought leaders to get the message out on climate change.
  2. Refine the national narrative to be personal, local, solutions- and benefit oriented:  Elevate personal stories to reach people through their shared values and depoliticize conversations. Focus on the personal, local and immediate through success stories highlighting the health and economic bene ts of climate solutions. Note that words like “safe”, “affordable”, and “healthier” move people. Climate change is not an issue for debate, so replace “issue” with words such as “opportunity.” Be mindful that risk can motivate people, but it needs to feel like it is immediate and relevant, and be coupled with a sense of agency and accessible calls to action, otherwise it can be safely ignored.
  3. Provide a platform for citizens to discuss climate impacts and solutions: Host town hall style, climate themed conversations to help people bond and work together on a shared vision of solutions. Focus on professional and citizen conversations. Ensure that your local weather person focuses on local problems. 
  4. Bring people together locally, focus on local stories and engagement: Use arts, media, and culture to magnify people’s top priorities and values, and connect them with climate concerns and solutions. Integrate diverse groups through multilateral storytelling.
  5. Introduce climate labeling for products: Create standards for and simple labels that inform consumers of the embedded carbon content of products, similar to nutrition labels. 

We will share more insight from our Report in the weeks to come, but be sure to download and read it yourself for specific recommendations for justice and inclusion, new frontiers of climate action, and priorities for the faith, communities and health sectors.

A top recommendation out of the Communities sector is to share success stories that are adaptable by other cities. We have been sharing these on our social media outlets, so please follow us on Twitter and Facebook

Do you have any other ideas? Please share!