Tracking Media Engagement on Climate Change and Health: Results and methodologies of public engagement indicators in The Lancet Countdown Annual Report

Authors: Olivia Pearman*,
Topics: Communication, Environment, Global Change
Keywords: climate change, climate change and health, mass media, climate communication
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/9/2020
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:15 AM
Room: Plaza Court 1, Sheraton, Concourse Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


‘The Lancet Countdown: tracking progress on health and climate change’ monitors global indicators that capture the impacts of and response to climate change in relation to human health across five domains: climate change impacts; adaptation and resilience planning; co-benefits of mitigation actions; finance and economics; and public and political engagement. This paper focuses on Section 5 of the Report which relates to public and political engagement. I share results from the most recent Lancet Countdown 2019 Report and discuss the development, evolution, and future potential for the four global indicators which track engagement on health and climate in newspaper media, individuals, governments, and corporations. Members of the Media and Climate Change Observatory (MeCCO) team, as part of the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research at CU Boulder, assembled and maintained the indicator tracking coverage of health and climate in newspapers across the world, and is one of over 40 indicators tracked by The Lancet Countdown. This indicator tracks coverage in 62 newspapers across 36 countries from 2007 through 2018. Trends in this indicator are consistent with trends in climate change coverage more generally where spikes in coverage occur around global climate governance events such as the Paris Agreement. Initial content analysis of media coverage suggests strong focus on the health impacts of climate change and some themes related to co-benefits of mitigation strategies with health. Trends across all indicators in Section 5 demonstrate low but increasing engagement with climate and health as interconnected issues.

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