Enhancing climate science communication
Gearing up for IPCC Assesment Report 5
Enhancing climate science communication
The objectives of the project is
- create an informal network of climate science communicators and communication advisors for capacity building and knowledge sharing.
- To organise a conference for science communications experts, advisors and researchers to prepare for the launch of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report.
Background – why now and why AR5?
The first of four AR5 reports will be launched in September 2013. The
second and third will be launched March and April 2014 and the fourth will be
made public in October 2014. Last year, the UNFCCC decided to finalise the
negotiations on a new global climate treaty by 2015. IPCC reports have been
drivers of public interest and media coverage of climate change in the past. As
in 2007, the launch of the AR5 reports takes place in the run up to a deadline
for the international climate negotiations. Based on experience from 2007 to
2009 we can expect that the science will come under close
scrutiny and indeed outright attack from certain quarters. Furthermore, research on science communication
suggests that highly politicised sciences such as that of climate change would
benefit from science communication that takes into account cultural, social and
psychological factors in order for the communication to be effective. Yet many
science communicators do not necessarily have the capacity or ability to
effectively communicate and defend climate science, nor an international
network from where to draw support and advice.
Climate communicators have geared up
Up until January 2013 there did not exist a
network for European climate communication advisors that could
facilitate professional support and knowledge-sharing. CICERO, together
with representatives from ten European organisations, has addressed this
challenge by creating ECCO, a network of European Climate Communication
Increased uptake of climate communication
ECCO is an informal network with the broad aim of information-sharing
and capacity-building among communicators. It strives for increased
uptake of climate science and climate communication in Europe.
Communicators and communication advisors of climate research centres and
associated institutions across Europe are the prime targets of the
network. ECCO membership is personal and by invitation only. ECCO will
aim to improve its members’ communication capacity through the sharing
of ideas, best practices and knowledge, and by providing a forum for
discussion and support.
No formal link to the IPCC
ECCO has no formal link with the IPCC or its Working Groups and does
not seek to represent the views of European research institutions or
influence how individual research organisations choose to conduct their
communications activities. Rather, ECCO is a loose group of individuals
who have a mutual interest in:
- Thinking strategically about climate communications, especially with regard to policy-makers and the wider public
- Helping put climate research on the public agenda
- Helping explain the importance of science to the wider public and policy-makers
- Sharing best communications practice
- Generating a sense of community among European climate communicators
ECCO has a small secretariat based at the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research Oslo (CICERO). For more information please contact:
Tiina Ruohonen (firstname.lastname@example.org, +47 90 98 31 61) or
Christian Bjørnæs (email@example.com, +47 41 14 06 65)
In May ECCO held a kick-off-conference in Oslo as part of the
network’s efforts to prepare the scientific community in Europe, and in
particular communications officers working for the home institutions of
IPCC authors, for the launch of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report. The
conference took place at Leangkollen, a hotel beautifully situated by
the Oslo fjord. It was attended by 82 persons spanning 14 European countries.