Along with the steady stream of sobering news showing us the costs and heartbreak of climate damage, there’s also good news on the climate front. Clean energy solutions are booming. Some of the fossil fuel industry’s tactics to stall solutions are being exposed and public scrutiny of fossil fuel projects is increasingly intense. And, public opinion research shows American voters are increasingly aware of the problem and ready for solutions.
It’s an important time for climate communicators to inspire more active, consistent support for strong policy solutions.
How do we keep our climate and energy messages on winning turf?
Extensive national research by Breakthrough Strategies & Solutions, with Harstad Strategic Research (and Sightline), identified three top-performing messages that form a persuasive climate narrative—a set of messages that proves compelling to voters of all political stripes.
It strikes an important balance between a can-do attitude about solutions and the urgency of the threat. Straight talk about accountability for fossil fuel companies as roadblocks to progress—the third part of the message “triangle”—helps us begin to tear down those roadblocks and move forward.
National polling of over 1,200 likely US voters found that:
- Our responsibility to protect our kids drives support for climate action.
- A significant share of respondents had personally had or had a friend or relative who had recently experienced strange or severe weather—and that such experience is linked with support for both climate mitigation and adaptation efforts.
- Sharing information about fossil fuel industry tactics to block progress helped galvanize support for action.
- It is most effective to reinforce voters’ sense of efficacy with concrete facts about American progress in clean energy solutions.
Our Flashcard video shows you how to use this powerful messaging tool. You can also find the complete messaging guide, with talking points and tips, pivots from common attacks, and facts and examples at climatenarrative.org.
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