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Communicating climate issues and solutions in France


In the face of efforts by fossil fuel lobbies to slow down progress and polarise debates on climate action, it’s critical to provide the public with clear, high-quality and objective information about the causes and impact of climate change, and the need for climate solutions. As a result, in France, our team has been expanding support to organisations working to improve news coverage and public understanding of climate topics.

Climate and weather reporting

The recently founded ECF grantee Expertises Climat trains and connects climate scientists with journalists to ensure objective, high-quality information when climate topics are in the news, and to improve the treatment of climate by mainstream media. By creating networks of experts to comment on specific topics, and building relationships with influential media outlets, Expertises Climat is making significant progress in shaping the climate debate in France.

Supported in part by Expertises Climat, national television group France Télévisions expanded its daily weather forecasts to include climate change topics on its two flagship channels, France 2 (whose 8pm news programme is watched by 3.5 million viewers) and France 3 (a regional channel with 2 million viewers). The news programme now contextualises weather forecasts alongside information on climate change, and answers questions from viewers on how to adapt to it, to show how our daily weather is affected by global warming.

Climate change and iconic French crops

One of the most visible effects of climate change in France has been severe droughts, which have a devasting impact on agriculture and other sectors. Our partner organisation Conséquences has been leading several campaigns to highlight the impacts of climate change on specific issues, such as cultural heritage, key industries and economic sectors, and natural landscapes.

For example, Conséquences recently published its first study on droughts in central France, gathering together the voices of affected fishermen, scientists, farmers and analysts. Later, in August, the organisation launched a campaign centred on the cultural and economic importance of lavender and its vulnerability to the threats of climate change. Their efforts have helped raise public awareness of climate issues in French regions, and provided valuable insights on how to effectively engage with different audiences on the need for action.

Going forward, we and our partners will further expand our efforts to improve media coverage of climate topics, engage with new audiences, and raise new voices of those affected by and working to fight climate change.

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