I keep bleating about this but there’s huge potential in framing climate action as a jobs creator and this tweet from the US National Resources Defense Council shows how to do it.
The tweet is launching the NRDC’s new analysis of pathway to a low-carbon economy for the United States – an, in their own words, “ambitious” plan to reach an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emission by 2050. Not an easy plan to sell but they’re going about it the right way.
So much climate communications appears to assume that the people they’re wanting to reach are motivated by a desire to do something about climate change. Unfortunately, not everyone is so keen so we need to tailor messages to what people do care about.
That’s why this tweet, and the second line in particular, is bang on:
Fighting climate change creates jobs.
People like jobs. People vote based on jobs. If it’s clear renewables create jobs people will like and hopefully vote based on support for renewables.
The tweet also talks to something else people like: their country. It portrays climate action as patriotic, a frame that has great appeal for people no matter their political persuasion, according to research. (Here’s another good example of patriotic framing of renewables).
Tackling climate change means bold action and securing broad public support. This means communicating based on what people care about, not what we think they should care about. Which doesn’t mean that people shouldn’t be told hard truths; education is crucial. Just that if we think about what people like and value, we can sell renewables and necessary ambitious climate action, like the NRDC’s plan, more effectively.