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Reports & guides | 12 October 2018

Public engagement for a 1.5C world – shifting gear and scaling up

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The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s October 2018 Special Report is an urgent reminder that if we are serious about a 1.5°C world, we need to get serious about public engagement.

Our report as well as our associated events and resources around the release of the IPCC’s report outline our insights and recommendations for shifting gear and scaling up public engagement.

The IPCC’s Special Report lays out the vast array of social, political, cultural economic and technological changes that are required to limit global warming to 1.5°C. It abandons the assumption that only those in power can make change and includes – for the first time for this international scientific body – the social science of public engagement.

Our report sets out a number of recommendations on how to shift gear and scale up public engagement. These include creating a global communications ‘league’; developing climate narratives around the world; training spokespeople on the social science of climate communication; and supporting peer-to-peer dialogue.

Event in partnership with the UK government: 1.5C & public engagement

We explored insights from our new report at an event on 15 October 2018, as part of the London launch of the report hosted by the IPCC and the UK government.

Speakers for our session included the IPCC report’s lead author on behaviour change Professor Linda Steg as well as Professor Lorraine Whitmarsh, Asher Minns and our Programmes & Research Director Dr Adam Corner.

Graphic recording: 1.5C & public engagement
Illustration credit: Lydia Messling

Commissioned by IPCC WG1 TSU to select photos for their 1.5C Special Report communications

Following the Communications handbook for IPCC scientists we produced earlier this year, we were delighted to curate for IPCC authors a set of 25 photos (including the two above) that fit our Climate Visuals principles. These images, which we curated with Aurora Photos, were commissioned by the IPCC WG1 TSU (Working Group I Technical Support Unit). They help tell much needed diverse and compelling human stories of climate change.

The IPCC used some of these pictures in the report’s launch day press conference and will be using them on their social media platforms. You’ll be able to spot them in IPCC authors’ presentations about the report as well.

Event: 1.5C & migration

We also hosted a briefing specifically about the IPCC Special Report’s findings on climate-linked migration and displacement, and discussed their wider implications. Our climate and migration programme manager Alex Randall explored how changing weather patterns and disasters are altering patterns of migration, and what this means for people, governments and civil society.

Videos & podcasts


Adam Corner has a starring role in this video by Youtuber ClimateAdam, released to coincide with GreenGB Week and the new IPCC 1.5C Special Report. The video was commissioned by the Climate Communication Project, a collaboration we’re a part of that brings together academics and practitioners working in public engagement on climate change. The video has won a comedy & climate award from the University of Colorado Boulder’s Inside the Greenhouse.

Public engagement for a 1.5C world – shifting gear and scaling up

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