Assembling a coalition of climate change narratives on UK climate action: a focus on the city, countryside, community and home
Perceptions of climate change and associated risks are complex and require greater consideration of the context in which behaviours are formed and changed. People tend to create their own stories of climate change providing an opportunity to capture personal experiences and frame solutions accordingly through narratives. Engagement with the issue can be further enhanced when using topics that resonate with individuals, especially through place attachments and local interests. Positioning climate change around communities, cities, homes and the countryside, for example, resonates with certain audiences as action at these scales provides useful narratives through which to engage audiences and increase positive associations with resilient and low-carbon futures. Nevertheless, we show how engagement with these narratives is complex and may overlap or contest in some cases. We present findings from thirty semi-structured interviews conducted with academic, policy and practitioner communities in the United Kingdom (UK) which explored what sub-themes could be utilised to engage audiences on climate change through narratives focused around cities, the countryside, communities and the home. We identify 10 sub-themes ranging from technological change (homes), connecting people (communities), alternative infrastructures (countryside) and positive visions of identity (cities). In search of a coherent coalition of diverse interests in shaping climate change action, we discuss two cross-cutting themes on technology and social norms which emerge strongly across each of the sub-themes.
Howarth, C., Parsons, L. Assembling a coalition of climate change narratives on UK climate action: a focus on the city, countryside, community and home. Climatic Change164, 8 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-021-02959-8