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NCAS is embarking on a newly funded project called the ‘Climate Consortium’, which will put in place national infrastructure to deliver high impact public engagement with climate change.

Working closely alongside a range of academic and non-academic partners, NCAS will bring together leading experts on public engagement to evaluate the climate communications knowledge base for this Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) funded project. 

The project team, which spans the length and breadth of the UK, aims to get a clearer sense of ‘who is doing what’ on climate change communication and to debate the most effective strategies and techniques for engaging the public with climate change.

There are a growing number of people, organisations and institutions involved in the theory and practice of public engagement, and the level of interest and enthusiasm for communicating climate change is greater than ever before. Using the right approach to public engagement is important, and this is now being widely acknowledged.

Without strong and continual support from the public, meeting global goals set to tackle the effects of climate change will be difficult to achieve. Climate Consortium recognises that the science of communicating climate change is just as important as climate science, and will be developing a resource that can act as the basis for student learning, doctoral training, and practitioner campaigns, all drawing from the best available evidence base on effective public engagement.

Dr Harriett Richardson, NCAS Communications Manager and the project manager for Climate Consortium said, “We were inspired by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) and decided to bring together leading experts on public engagement to evaluate the climate communication knowledge base. I’m delighted to be working with such a diverse and knowledgeable team and to be developing resources that will enable others to generate urgent public support for tackling the threat of climate change.”

Climate Consortium is one of six public engagement capacity-building projects starting in October 2017, which form part of NERC’s long-term plan to build strong engagement between members of the UK public and environmental science research and researchers.

The Climate Consortium is led by Professor Piers Forster, Director of the Priestley International Centre for Climate (at the University of Leeds) and its team includes researchers and public engagement practitioners from the National Centre for Atmospheric Science, Climate Outreach, the Royal Meteorological Society, Manchester Metropolitan University, 10:10, Cardiff University, National Centre for Earth Observation and the British Antarctic Survey.