Understanding and communicating the groundswell of climate actions


New York, USA | April 16-17, 2015

Natural Resources Defense Council, 40 West 20th Street, New York, NY 10011

The workshop for Understanding and Communicating the Groundswell of Climate Action convened more than 70 analysts and communication professionals to discuss how to seize this moment of opportunity.  These participants gathered in New York City on April 16 and 17, 2015, to address two central questions: (1) how can the groundswell of climate actions be understood and evaluated, and (2) how should it be communicated?  Conversations about metrics delved into the challenges of comparing such a diverse array of climate actions, and of developing metrics to address existing data gaps.  Messaging discussions honed in on strategies to contextualize the UNFCCC negotiations within the context of current action, and to reach new audiences. 

In addition to addressing these questions individually, the workshop facilitated an exchange between metrics and communications professionals, to build the ability to translate rigorous analysis into effective communication, and to strengthen communication through good underlying metrics.  It also brought representatives from the groundswell together with participants deeply engaged in the preparations for the upcoming COP 21.  This exchange informed discussions about the most effective strategy for framing and integrating the messaging around the groundswell and the negotiations.   

Through these conversations and exchanges, the workshop produced a number of focused notes and recommendations around critical moments to showcase and communicate the groundswell; key audiences to target; and themes and narratives to highlight in this messaging.  Participants also identified the central recommendations, questions, and research gaps that should guide attempts to measure and understand the groundswell’s impact.

For more information:

Summary of Research

To facilitate discussion around the analysis of the climate groundswell, a pre-workshop session was held on April 16 where participants could update each other on their current and future research. During this session, participants from a number of different sectors presented two-page overviews of their work focusing on analysis techniques, data sources and gaps, and initial or expected findings. The summary of research presented can be found here. Links to individual research overviews are provided below.