Connecting on Climate: A Guide to Effective Climate Change Communication leads to a better understanding of American responses to climate change and explains how anyone, from religious leaders, to health care professionals, businesspeople, community leaders, journalists, scientists, educators, policymakers, and other interested parties, can better communicate with and engage the American public on the issue.

The guide, which includes research from a range of social science fields including psychology, anthropology, communications, and behavioral economics, is designed to be useful for experienced and novice communicators alike. Included in the guide are strategies to boost engagement, common mistakes to avoid, and best practices that organizations have used to meaningfully engage individuals and groups on climate change. 

The guide is a joint project between the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions (CRED) at the Earth Institute, Columbia University and ecoAmerica, and is designed as a follow up to CRED’s 2009 guide, The Psychology of Climate Communication: A Guide for Scientists, Journalists, Educators, Political Aides, and the Interested Public.


  1. Put yourself in your audience’s shoes
  2. Channel the power of groups
  3. Emphasize solutions and benefits
  4. Bring climate impacts close to home
  5. Connect climate change to issues that matter to your audience
  6. Use images and stories to make climate change real
  7. Make climate science meaningful
  8. Acknowledge uncertainty, but show what you know
  9. Approach skepticism carefully
  10. Make behavior change easy


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This guide was made possible with the generous support of National Science Foundation SES-0951516 (awarded to the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions), and funding from the MacArthur Foundation, and the Linden Trust for Conservation provided to ecoAmerica.