The EnvComm Blog

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Mira Rochyadi-Reetz's picture

[This post is part of a series offered by IECA members attending COP24 in Katowice, Poland.]

What actually happened at COP24 besides the negotiations between parties? The answer is: countless side events and press conferences. Since most of the negotiation process at the second week was not open for observers like me, I spent my time visiting pavilions from countries, banking institutions and transnational organizations like the EU. Those pavilions remind me of the world’s biggest book exhibition in Frankfurt or the tourism industry exhibition in Berlin, which is also held every year. Almost every pavilion was built in a sophisticated way, not simply a square box with chairs and desks. Most of them were well designed with huge LCD walls, meeting rooms, professional light and sound system equipment, private media center and even luxury kitchens. Do they really need all of that to inform the world what each of them is doing to mitigate climate change? What will happen to those pavilions after the COP? I cannot imagine how much total carbon and waste all those pavilions produced during COP.

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Anna Palliser's picture

[This post is part of a series offered by IECA members attending COP24 in Katowice, Poland.]

If ever there was a time to trespass beyond the conventional boundaries of what is said and not said in the different arenas of our lives, it is now. In the first couple of days of COP 24, representatives of the UN and of the World Bank, along with Sir David Attenborough, urged the parties (the representatives of governments from around the world) to act decisively, to be brave and uncompromising in making the changes that are needed, within the brief 12-year window given to us by the latest IPCC report. One week later and forward movement at the conference has been halted by four oil-producing nations refusing to “welcome” the IPCC report, in this way preventing the consensus that would lead to a full embrace of the action it calls for [1]. At the same time, the US is permitted to extol the virtues of coal, and gas within the conference venue [2]. It seemed to me, while I was at COP 24 for week one, that there are elephants in some of these conference rooms that are the size of blue whales.

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Mira Rochyadi-Reetz's picture

[This post is part of a series offered by IECA members attending COP24 in Katowice, Poland.]

This is my first time at COP and since I am participating during the second week, I had the opportunity to check on some notes from a fellow COP24 observer who attended meetings last week. On my way to Katowice, I read a note by Marissa Lerner on 6th December about a Wrap-up Meeting of the Preparatory Phase for Talanoa Dialogue. The Chinese delegation’s statement sparked my interest. Her (or his?) statement was: “… IPCC is composed of very specialized scientists who can provide good predictions of scenarios as to economic and social costs or impacts. As to political risks involved they don’t have sufficient information.”

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Jill Hopke's picture

I am attending the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) climate change negotiations, COP24, for the first time this week. In UN-lingo “COP24” means this is the 24th Conference of the Parties since 1995 when COP1 was held in Berlin, Germany. 

The COP24 is taking place in Katowice, Poland from Dec. 2 to 14. It has brought tens of thousands of people, including delegates, or “parties,” along with civil society representatives, to Poland’s Upper Silesia region. 

As media coverage has already noted, this is Polish coal country, with about 80% of the nation’s electricity coming from that fossil fuel. The major expected policy outcome of this round of international climate negotiations is the “rulebook” for putting the much-heralded 2015 Paris Agreement into practice. 

As a gathering of heads of state, multinational organizations and civil society, can the UNFCCC and other climate action stakeholders use these arguably esoteric negotiations as a mechanism to engage people in their home countries on climate change? 

[This post is part of a series offered by IECA members attending COP24 in Katowice, Poland.]

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Chui-Ling Tam's picture

In the westernmost reaches of Nunavut, on the Northwest Passage, Inuit hunters have told me some pithy things about climate change.

The land is changing. It isn’t climate change. This is part of cycles. Our elders saw this coming.

Some of the most visible and profound effects of global warming are occurring in the Arctic. Some Inuit are worried climate change will permanently alter the world. Others say it will pass, as other times of want and plenty have passed through the Inuit’s long cycles of life in the Arctic.

In Inuit Nunangat, the Inuit homeland in Canada, perceptions about climate change cannot be divided into two camps of “believers” and “deniers.” The situation is far more complex.

To understand climate change communication and adaptation in maritime communities, my research team has travelled to the Canadian Arctic, Indonesia and the Philippines to find out what local communities have to say about climate change.

The answer so far? It varies.

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Gregg Walker's picture

The two week session of UN Climate Change negotiations has begun in Katowice, Poland. Six IECA members are participating. 

We will post comments periodically. Our first week team is Jill Hopke, Anna Palliser, and Gregg Walker (me).

This morning - on the long bus ride from Krakow to Katowice, I sat next to one of the senior negotiators from Chile.  I learned a lot about what he and colleagues in other developing countries hope for and expect from the COP.  He believes that the Parties will approve a Paris “Rule Book,” although he (and many of us here) are concerned about the implications of Brazil’s presidential election.



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Richard Doherty's picture

Greetings Folks,

A month or two back, long-time member, and former IECA chair and EC journal editor Steve Depoe, suggested we support the National Science Teachers Association's position statement on "The Teaching of Climate Science." The board wholeheartedly agreed and I drafted a letter for the board to review, edit and OK for release.

Finally, I've completed and mailed a letter to the NSTA in support of their position. Below is the letter.


Richard J. Doherty, Chair

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Stephen Depoe's picture

Environmental Communication Educators: I teach an undergraduate course in Environmental Communication at the University of Cincinnati once or twice a year. The course usually enrolls 30-40 students, and is dual-listed as an elective in our Environmental Studies major.

I have a new goal for the course this year--help students to build their news feeds with sites and sources pertaining to climate change, other environmental concerns, and ways in which active citizens can address those concerns via communication, political mobilization, and more.

Each of us builds our own information environment, either consciously or consciously, by what we attend to, view, read, click, and buy. Social media platforms contain embedded algorithms that feed back to us what sponsors think we want to see. We create and reinforce our own internet filter bubbles every day.

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Mark Meisner's picture

Warning: This is going to get a bit meta.

Ever since launching the IECA website 7 years ago, one question has pursued me. What does environmental communication look like?

Visitors to the site will be very familiar with the image of the green phone box in the countryside that decorates the home page. You might even be a bit tired of it :-)

Well, change is coming. We will soon be working on an overdue update to the IECA website. We will be re-theming (changing the look) of the site. And we will be making it mobile-friendly by using a responsive design. At the same time, we want to add some new images.

So, how can we show environmental communication in action? I don't mean how to show environmental issues like climate change, air pollution, forest plunder, etc. No, this is meta. How can we show communication about those and other environmental issues?

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Nancy Van Leuven's picture

By IECA Board members Hanna Morris and Nancy Van Leuven

Set amidst the bluest skies and towering pines of Eugene, Oregon, IAMCR 2018 was focused on sustainability and media research, an ideal opportunity for IECA Board members Gabi Hadil, Hanna Morris, and Nancy Van Leuven to join a multitude of IAMCR board panelists to debate a hot topic:  How can conferences be more sustainable?

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