SEEC Webinar 20 – Guiding Principles and Critical Insights for Effective Climate Communication

Communicating about climate change can be a difficult task. The topic of climate change can seem abstract and complicated to people and it can also be filled with political tensions and diverse and dissonant opinions. This webinar aims to provide local government staff with clear and specific tools and techniques for how to best communicate about this critical topic.

Our expert speakers from ecoAmerica provide an overview of the 13 must-know steps and guiding principles for communicating on climate. They also provide information and insights about psychological motivations that drive attitudes and behaviors and share how you can use this information to increase your effectiveness in building public support and political will for climate solutions in your community.

This webinar has been approved for 1.00 CM Credit.

Webinar Recording

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2:00 PM Webinar Logistics and Overview

  • Jenny Woods, Local Government Commission
2:05 PM Guiding Principles and Critical Insights for Effective Climate Communication

  • Dan Barry, ecoAmerica
  • Caroline Hodge, ecoAmerica
    Presentation (PDF)
2:50 PM Question and Answers
3:00 PM Adjourn

Questions and Answers

As an example of Principle #8, what would be three powerful solutions related to Sea Level Rise we could identify as we are presenting the facts on rising seas?

Also, is there a national association of weather people you are already working with, and how could it empower local TV/radio folks to take advantage of “teachable moments” that come up around climate change?

Your point about engaging weathercasters is a great one. There are some interesting initiatives out there on putting weathercasters at the front lines of climate communication (see and Like you alluded to, they make great “trusted messengers” and can escape some of the political baggage that often comes with climate change communication. There’s even research showing that they’re particularly effective communicators (

As far as showing people with “facts” not “science” that sea level rise is happening, Climate Central’s sea level rise project is a good mechanism: You can also ask people to visualize what it would be like to have the storm surge you see with temporary floods be permanent. I’ve also heard about people marking with blue lines on the outside of buildings, etc. what sea level rise would look like.


13 Steps report

ecoAmerica is proud to announce the upcoming release of their newest communications guide, produced in collaboration with the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions (CRED) at Columbia University.

Connecting on Climate: A Guide to Effective Climate Change Communication, which will be released on Dec. 11, explains how anyone, from religious leaders, to healthcare professionals, businesspeople, community leaders, journalists, scientists, educators, policymakers, and other interested parties, can better communicate with and engage the American public on climate change.

The guide includes research from a range of social science fields including psychology, anthropology, communications, and behavioral economics and is designed to be useful for experienced and novice communicators alike.

American Climate Values report

List of recommendations based on American Climate Values research

Speaker contact info:

Dan Barry
Communities Program Director
+1 202 457 1299 (office)
+1 509 351 1900 (fax)
+1 202 441 9420 (mobile)

Caroline Hodge
Research Manager
+1 415 544 9156 x 18 (o)
+1 650 269 7817 (m)