Public engagement with climate change: What do we know and where do we go from here?

Lorraine Whitmarsh, Saffron O'Neill, Irene Lorenzoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Citations (SciVal)


Climate change is an issue with fundamental implications for societies and individuals. These implications range from our everyday choices about resource use and lifestyles, through how we adjust to an unprecedented rate of environmental change, to our role in debating and enacting accompanying social transitions. This article outlines the various ways in which members of society ('publics') may be engaged in efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change, and then provides a synthesis of lessons about public engagement which span both theoretical and practical insights. These include the diverse drivers of, and barriers to, engagement; the importance of multiple forms of engagement and messages; and a critical need to evaluate and identify successful examples of engagement. We conclude by outlining priorities for future research, policy and practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-25
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Media and Cultural Politics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 6 Aug 2013


  • Behaviour change
  • Climate change communication
  • Climate change perceptions
  • Drivers of engagement barriers to engagement
  • Public engagement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication


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