7 Ways to Talk About COP21 With Your Community

By path2positive

For the next two weeks, local and community leaders from across the country will be in Paris to take part in International Climate Negotiations. In a series of events specifically geared to municipalities, leaders will learn and collaborate on strategies to successfully manage risks and take advantage of opportunities presented by climate change.

In spite of the opportunities, local leaders are sure to be challenged by special interests who seek to delay and derail progress or undermine the public interest on climate change. In order to help facilitate local climate leaders with the skills to lead the conversation, build support, and respond to critics, Path to Positive Communities has developed 7 key talking points:

  1. The Paris negotiations demonstrate the importance of climate change. National and local community leaders, as well as faith, business, health and other leaders, are gathering to address the risks and opportunities of climate change.
  2. I’m here because I’m concerned about the impacts on our community. As our seasons and weather change, asthma, allergies, floods or droughts, and storm damage will cost us precious money and jeopardize the well being of us and our children.
  3. We can’t rely on politicians in DC to protect our community. We need to take care of ourselves, and look for opportunities in our own backyard.
  4. There’s a clean, healthy, prosperous future within our grasp. The choice is ours to make. We can keep burning our money, or get locally made energy from the wind and sun that ensures our air is clean and our water is healthy and safe.
  5. Some people say that America can’t lead on this issue, or what we do won’t make a difference. America led the way into space, onto computers, cell phones, and the internet. We can lead again in the new energy future, with innovations that will fuel a cleaner, safer and better world for our families.
  6. We all want to live in the best place for our families. We want a healthier environment, new businesses, better jobs, and stronger communities. Wise energy use and smart investments in clean energy like wind and solar that bring local jobs to our community promote economic growth and security.
  7. We have a special responsibility to the younger and older people in our community, and to those who are living at the edge of their budgets. If we can sort this out and get it right now, we’ll create more opportunity today and a better future for all of us.

Communicating about climate change is a new skill that many mayors and local community leaders are having to quickly learn. By collaborating with others, and taking advantage of sound research, leaders can learn to effectively communicate the benefits that climate solutions can have in building stronger communities, bringing about jobs, and making cities better places for families. Learn more about the latest in climate communication research by checking out the resources at Path to Positive Communities, and get the latest report Lets Talk Climate!

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