Whether it’s a starving polar bear, dramatic weather events, or rising sea levels, climate change is here, and the impacts are real and ever-present. On Earth Day, we want to share three resources for thinking about engagement and climate action. The narrative on climate change has dramatically changed over the last 30 years. No longer are we talking about the ozone and acid rain. Even the term sustainability is being questioned, unpackaged, and challenged. Here are three resources for further exploration as engagement on climate change and climate action continues to evolve:
- The Centre for Public Impact’s article on Engaging the Public on Climate Change: What We’ve Learned identifies that one-off engagements on climate change are of limited impact. What is needed is an ongoing, integrated, and adaptive approach to engagement that embeds learning in the engagement process. The article provides public case studies on how this is done, but at its core, notes communities cannot engage if they do not have access to meaningful information and how they can engage in solutions and option development. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to engagement, but the importance of consistency holds true across communities. The engagement on climate action is not a one-off.
- The David Suzuki Foundation developed a strategy entitled: Building Bridges for Climate Action, and the focus of the strategy is around engaging millennials on climate change. With 15 key recommendations on how to do this, the key take-aways are to focus on co-designing the engagement process, focus on intersectionality in the engagement, and bring a “realness” to the engagement. Building engagement opportunities that connect and build community will be more powerful in mobilizing people to participate.
- Conservation in a Changing Climate is a US-based land trust. Their tips for engaging your community on climate change remind us that we need to integrate climate action messaging into all our engagements and projects. Is it really a project on waste management, or is it about opportunities to reimagine how our consumption impacts climate change? Is it really about transportation, or is it about opportunities for more sustainable and equitable access to carbon neutral options?
Based on Delaney’s experiences, we believe there are real opportunities to communicate how taking action on climate change improves quality of life close to home, provides for more equitable options on just about everything, and creates opportunities for community connection.