Spread the word on adaptation to climate change, green groups are urged

A report from the Glacier Trust, which examined 1,500 articles from five environmental organisations, says most did not refer to strategies for adapting to the effects of climate change

The Glacier Trust's report
The Glacier Trust's report

Environmental charities need to take a lead in encouraging more discussions about climate change adaptation, as opposed to mitigation of its effects, a new report from the Glacier Trust says.

The trust examined 1,579 articles from five environmental organisations. Now its report, We Need to Talk About Adaptation, says that the vast majority did not refer to strategies for adapting to the effects of climate change.

The five organisations covered by the research were Friends of the Earth UK, the World Wildlife Fund UK, Greenpeace UK, the RSPB and the Green Party.

The report says that 528 articles published by those five organisations covered climate change issues, but only 83 referenced adaptation and only 12 were focused specifically on that issue.

"To improve on these statistics, we need more leadership and more advocacy. This means we need more talk about adaptation," the report says.

"This report shows that our friends and colleagues across the environmental sector do talk about it – it is part of the story they tell. We hope they will talk about it some more in 2019."

The report says that, although the Paris Agreement on climate change promised an "equal footing" between spending on mitigating climate change and adapting to the effects of it, "the limited pot of climate finance made available will be funnelled disproportionally into mitigation at the expense of adaptation".

The report therefore calls for greater discussion about and publicity of the need for climate change adaptation.

"When much of the news we hear about climate change frightens, saddens or angers us, hopeful stories about adaptation can provide an antidote," the report says.

"NGOs, campaign groups, politicians and journalists can tell these positive stories, and they need to."

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