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Key insights from climate communication – and how they can inspire sustainability in higher education

  • Purpose In order to combat climate change and safeguard a liveable future we need fundamental and rapid social change. Climate communication can play an important role to nurture the public engagement needed for this change, and higher education for sustainability can learn from climate communication. Approach The scientific evidence base on climate communication for effective public engagement is summarised into ten key principles, including ‘basing communication on people’s values’, ‘conscious use of framing’, and ‘turning concern into action’. Based on the author’s perspective and experience in the university context, implications are explored for sustainability in higher education. Findings The article provides suggestions for teaching (e.g. complement information with consistent behaviour by the lecturer, integrate local stories, and provide students with basic skills to communicate climate effectively), for research (e.g. make teaching for effective engagement the subject of applied research), for universities’ third mission to contribute to sustainable development in the society (e.g. provide climate communication trainings to empower local stakeholders), andgreening the campus (develop a proper engagement infrastructure, e.g. by a university storytelling exchange on climate action). Originality The article provides an up-to-date overview of climate communication research, which is in itself original. This evidence base holds interesting learnings for institutions of higher education, and the link between climate communication and universities has so far not been explored comprehensively.

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Author:Maike SippelORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education
Place of publication:Bingley
Document Type:Article
Year of Publication:2023
Release Date:2023/04/25
Tag:Climate change; Energy transition; Sustainable development; Climate action; Climate communication; Public engagement; Higher education; Teaching; Research; Greening campus
First Page:1594
Last Page:1609
Institutes:Fakultät Bauingenieurwesen
Relevance:Keine peer reviewed Publikation (Wissenschaftlicher Artikel und Aufsatz, Proceeding, Artikel in Tagungsband)
Open Access?:Nein
Licence (German):License LogoUrheberrechtlich geschützt