At COP26, UK broadcasters and streamers came together and signed the Climate Content Pledge, committing to help audiences understand and navigate the path to net zero and inspire them to make greener choices. They will do this by using content to help audiences understand the challenges and opportunities of tackling climate change and how audiences can play their part.
In 2022, six of these broadcasters – the BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5, ITV, Sky and UKTV – commissioned Ipsos and the Centre for Climate and Social Transformations (CAST) to conduct an evidence review into what role broadcasters can play in inspiring audiences to make changes to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss.
The vast majority of the public is concerned about climate change and wants to act. However, we face multiple barriers to addressing climate change and biodiversity loss. Through a review of existing evidence, and interviews with 18 experts, we found that the visual storytelling power of broadcast media gives it a unique role in inspiring people and systems to address the challenges facing the environment.
Key findings include the importance of:
- Educating audiences about the problem of climate change, but also the solutions.
- Setting social norms through showing relatable and aspirational people engaging in positive climate action.
- Providing a hopeful and inspiring narrative of a future where action is taken on climate change, including through showing the co-benefits of pro-environmental changes.
- Talking about change at a system-level as well as what individuals can do.
- Incorporating climate content across multiple channels and genres to maximise effectiveness.
Albert, the leading screen industry organisation for environmental sustainability has produced a pocket guide on Telling Climate Stories based on this research. Read Albert’s pocket guide here.