Despite the efforts undertaken since the Earth Summit in 1992 to protect the environment and fight against climate change, the situation has continued to worsen. Not only is it difficult to mobilise the public, businesses, and political decision-makers around these causes, but today we see ever more environmental detractors who directly oppose the necessary measures when they’re not simply denying the reality of the problems.
Rather than locking ourselves into a conflictual divide, it is vital to take opponents into consideration, listen to their arguments and respond to them using a language they can understand, not the language of those who are already convinced. It’s clear that presenting environmental protection as difficult, expensive and sacrificial for the economy, mobility and comfort has not motivated many. Rightly convinced of the worthiness of their cause, the environmental advocates unfortunately lacked a sense of communication psychology: a language that would have inspired action rather than sparking resistance and denial; that would have given the whole of society the motivation to act rather than triggering a will to resist; a compelling story on the transition capable of bringing key decision makers onboard. The humanitarian NGOs know that they will mobilize more resources portraying success stories, showing the results of their actions, rather than presenting a hopeless picture. Let’s do the same for the environment: show an exciting image of climate action, increasing quality of life and continued economic development. If such an approach was utopic in previous decades because solutions didn’t exist to fight climate change and protect the environment in an economically profitable way, things have changed in the recent years. It is therefore imperative to devise a new narrative and replace the one that has not worked in the past. What we are calling for is no less than a revolution in the way we speak about climate action. At the occasion of the COP28, the Solar Impulse Foundation is bringing a strategic communication toolkit to policy and economic leaders to help them muster ambition and overcome resistance to climate action.
|November 30, 2023
|Solar Impulse Foundation