Climate change topics the community really cares about

Aside from COVID, the hottest topic raised by community and stakeholders alike is climate change. In fact it comes up as a topic even when we’re not specifically engaging on it!

Even before the IPCC issued a Code Red for humanity, ordinary folk were raising their own concerns and seeking guidance and leadership. Let’s face it, ordinary folk often feel the impacts earlier and harder than leadership does.

Even in communities where unemployment is high, or housing affordability is a challenge, or services are lacking, climate change is emerging as a key topic during city-wide engagement processes.

Let’s be clear: this is not in response to a questionnaire about climate change.

These are issues community members are raising even when we don’t ask them about it.

From the urban areas to the farms, from the coast to the bush: tese are the things communities are seeing, experiencing, and looking  for answers about. We ignore them at our peril (and we’re ordinary folks too!).

The hottest climate change topic

How can we deal with urban heat island effects?

  • How can we redesign our streets and our suburbs to get more trees and less concrete?
  • Will we have enough water?
  • What are the things we need to do now that cannot wait until 2030 or 2050?
  • Why aren’t we doing more to convert our waste into energy?
  • How will my animals cope during hotter days?

What does this mean for engagement?

For our engagement and communication friends, here are the climate change topics and language that we’re hearing in the community. As professional engagers, if we listen to the language and start using it, we are more able to connect with current community concerns:

  • Extreme weather events
  • Storms and flooding
  • Erosion
  • Heat waves
  • Water supply

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Written by Amanda Newbery
Articulous is led by founder and managing director Amanda Newbery, an award-winning communications and engagement professional. She has made a career of tackling difficult projects across Australia. A passionate and experienced communicator, she has worked with some of the country’s largest organisations and government organisations nationally. She is a sought-after issues and crisis advisor, especially for major corporations.