Tags:   Business · Centre-right · Climate Impacts · Climate Visuals · Energy · Faith · Global Narratives · Guides · Migration · Multimedia · Reports · Science Communication · Solutions · Young Voices

Few issues facing Canada are as nationally divisive as climate change and the future of energy. But in Alberta, often referred to as ground zero for climate change as the home of Canada's oil sands, people are calling for more respectful and constructive conversation.

The Alberta Narratives Project aims to replace a combative and acrimonious debate with a constructive conversation based on shared values and respect for people’s different ways of seeing the world. What language works well and – crucially – what language poses an obstacle to a productive conversation?

Despite its local scale, this work will be of interest to anyone outside Alberta working for a just transition and wanting to better understand how to meaningfully and respectfully engage with communities who depend on fossil fuels for employment.

Our Core Narrative report (2018) presents key findings and insights from over 50 province-wide discussions with nearly 500 people from a wide range of groups representing the fabric of Alberta, and provides a core narrative for talking about climate change in this province.

Our Audience Narratives report (2019) dives deeper, offering tailored language that can be the basis of effective communications with each of the following groups: oil sands workers, conservatives, environmentalists, rural Albertans, business leaders, youth, new Canadians and people of faith. The report explores these eight audiences one after the other, highlighting their values and concerns, as well as their attitudes towards climate change, energy and transition. It also includes for each audience a suggested narrative about climate change, as well as language to avoid.

This community-based collaborative initiative has left a lasting legacy by training 75 local organisations to conduct their own research with their own audiences, using our peer-reviewed Narrative Workshop methodology.

Listen to reflections about the Alberta Narratives Project from some of our collaborators below.

The project was featured in several radio shows and podcasts including CBCCalgary Today and Climate Justice Saskatoon as well as in print in Global News, Globe and Mail, Climate Home, the Energy Mix, the David Suzuki Foundation and Sightline.

The Alberta Narratives Project is part of the Global Narratives Project, a collaborative initiative to train national and regional partners to test and develop climate change change communications that speak to their shared values and identity. The project methodology was piloted in India and will begin in the Middle East in the near future. 


Photo credit: Jasper Guy

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