Climate Action and Engagement
  • Room 114, Rolle Building, Plymouth University

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This Institute of Health and Community and the Centre for Culture, Community and Society seminar is led by Dr Candice Howarth.

As the concept of climate change has matured, increasing focus has been placed on the interconnections between its economic, political, cultural and social aspects. However the urgency of the issue is not reflected in action where there is a lack of concrete decision making where awareness and intention to act on the issue rarely result in climate action. Where action has taken place (for example adaptation and mitigation), failing to communicate this means action stagnates and risks failing to lead to long term, sustained change. A better understanding is needed of how (and if) communication about the causes, impacts and solutions of climate change enables further climate action.

Climate change communication methods primarily rely on the premise, defined by the Deficit Model, that providing people with more information will automatically lead to action. However people are made up of a web of values, beliefs, attitudes, norms, cultures, perceptions and habits, all of which affect the communication of climate change, its interpretation and resulting action. Climate communication must therefore adopt a multidisciplinary approach, incorporating key elements from climate science (for example causes, impacts, adaptation, mitigation, economics, resources depletion etc.) and social science theories to facilitate climate action now and in the future.

This seminar will address how communicating climate change can influence climate action. It will present a framework on how to best deliver information to facilitate dialogue between the research, policy and public spheres. 

This free seminar is open to all but booking is required via the Eventbrite website.

Please visit this Eventbrite page for details of other IHC events.

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Speaker biography

Dr Candice Howarth is a Senior Research Fellow at the Global Sustainability Institute (GSI) in Cambridge specialising in climate change communication, policy and sustainable behaviour change. Until September 2014 she was seconded to the International Climate Change Directorate in the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) leading on stakeholder engagement on a range of policy aspects of international climate change.

Her research interests focus on the communication of climate change by assessing barriers to action and behaviour change (such as climate scepticism) and limitations of the science-policy interface particularly in overcoming these at the public and decision-maker levels. She is a member of the UCL Policy Commission on Communicating Climate Science, which recently published its report assessing the role of climate scientists in public engagement, advances in science and policy making. She is also an advisor to projects on climate narrative development and the use of digital technologies, a trustee of the environmental behaviour change charity Global Action Plan, and a member of the British Sociological Association Climate Change Studies Group.

She has a PhD in climate change communication and behaviour change, a MSc in Climate Change and a BSc in Meteorology.

Event photography and video
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