Inequity, transformation and talking hope: Towards a new discourse on climate change and sustainability
Eva-Maria McCormack, Jenny Bischofberger, Godfred Bonnah Nkansah
Talking Hope gUG, Germany
Although the climate agenda has been mainstreamed in recent years, discourses on climate have not changed much in substance: Climate action continues to be represented as a battle against impending catastrophe, although fear appeals affect change only to a limited degree. The emphasis in public, political and media debates on the costs of climate action pits intra-societal, intergenerational and international stakeholders against each other. The focus on technical solutions neglects the intersectoral and, especially, the social justice dimensions of climate impacts and solutions. The failure to communicate the intersectoral benefits of climate action also undermines the ability to pursue intersectoral solutions to intersectoral problems, with food systems inequity being one prime example. Perhaps most importantly, the failure to focus on alternative future scenarios which convey hope, self-efficacy and inclusiveness impedes public engagement for sustainability and, especially, the equal participation of disadvantaged stakeholders in the Global South and the Global North.
Keywords: Adaption, climate change, climate communication, social justice, transformation
Contact Address: Jenny Bischofberger, Talking Hope gUG, Research Director, Markelstr 10, 12163 Berlin, Germany, e-mail: bischofbergertalking-hope.org