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Engaging the Public on Climate Change

We believe individuals and communities should be at the heart of shaping a place-based transition to net-zero by 2050

CPI at COP26

People protesting about climate change

The 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) took place in Glasgow from 31 October - 12 November 2021, under the presidency of the United Kingdom. The CPI team and partners were present at a host of events, with our efforts firmly focussed on how to deliver on ambitious climate action by placing people and communities at the heart.

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Our principles

Our work is guided by an emerging vision for what public engagement around climate change should include: enabling adaptability and learning, designing for justice and inclusion from the outset, and embracing complexity.

Understanding public engagement around climate change

Our Literature Review builds an understanding of different approaches to engaging the public on climate change, and the strengths and limitations of each type:

  • Communication on climate change:

    This explores how the framing of the message, the legitimacy of the messenger, and the values and identities of the audience impact the effectiveness of communication around climate change.

  • Collaboration or deliberation on climate change:

    This explores mechanisms of collaboration (grassroots citizen movements) and deliberation (eg: Citizen Assemblies) around climate change, and the conditions necessary to support these processes, and ensure inclusion.

  • Engagement around climate interventions:

    This draws out how public engagement can effectively incentivise sustainable consumption and pro-environmental behaviour at an individual, social and systems level.

Download the report

Shining a light on public engagement practice

Our Case Study Compendium provides practitioners working on public engagement around climate change, with a framework to unpack the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches. 

Each Case Study sparks dialogue on how processes can be made more adaptive to evolving local conditions, more inclusive and socially just, and better able to embrace the complexity and uncertainty of climate issues.

Download the Case Study Compendium

Watch: How to engage the public around climate change

Hear from Apolitical, CPI's Chandrima Padmanabhan, experts and practitioners as they discuss public engagement around climate change, including what constitutes effective methods of communication, collaboration and engagement around policy interventions.

Join the conversation

Are you working to make public engagement around climate change more effective, impactful and inclusive? Get in touch to share your story. We’re looking forward to hearing from you.