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New Communication handbook released for IPCC scientists

20th Feb 2018

Source: Climate Outreach 

This communications handbook has been commissioned by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and is the first time such guidance has been produced for the world's leading scientific body on climate change.

The handbook sets out six principles for effective communication ahead of the IPCC's 1.5 degrees special report later this year.

Just like the IPCC reports themselves, Climate Outreach believes the way IPCC authors engage with the public should be based on the best available evidence. The handbook serves as a valuable resource for everyone on how to engage audiences with climate change.

The 6 principles are:

  1. Be a confident communicator
  2. Talk about the real world not abstract ideas
  3. Connect with what matters to your audience
  4. Tell a human story
  5. Lead with what you know
  6. Use the most effective visual communication

Although these principles have been written to help scientists communicate better about climate change, to my mind they also resonate with anyone who is trying to talk about climate change with farmers. I would add one more though:


One little word, which is quite often forgotten, but is so important.

Climate change is often full of uncertainty, for some, a far reaching threat, and for others something they are dealing with now. If we don't listen and empathise, and target advice and information that hits the farm's priorities then we lose the opportunity to have a discussion about climate change and emissions that is positive rather than negative.

Here's to happy communicating that empowers farmers to make knowledge based decisions that maintain sustainable and resilient businesses!