Paris Climate Summit – Media Coverage – 11.12.15 – Spain and Portugal

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Post by Júlia Mandil

As the COP 21 comes to an end, the main focus of the coverage of Spanish and Portuguese newspapers on Friday (Dec 11) was the announcement that the release of the final agreement had been postponed.

Prominent newspapers from each country El País, El Mundo (Spain) and Público (Portugal) had correspondents at the Summit, while others used texts from news agencies.

The coverage of the developments of the agreement did not differ greatly from one newspaper to another. However, outlets did provide different perspectives on the discussion of climate change in general:

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Screenshot from Spanish newspaper El Pais

In Spain, El Pais had an exclusive section of its online edition dedicated to the coverage of the Climate Conference, while El Mundo featured articles under a tag “Climate Change”. Both outlets portrayed headlines highlighting the pressure for a final draft of the agreement to be achieved soon, as well as more analytical and opinion articles about climate change.

El Mundo shared stories raising the opinion of experts and journalists specialized in the field, while El País gave space to people and organizations to write stories on the matter. An example is a piece published by the UN Development Program focusing on Latin America and the challenges posed by climate change.

ABC (Spanish version) focuses primarily on the agreement that is about to be released. A characteristic that could be identified in ABC’s coverage is a prominent European perspective. This can be seen in articles relating to European standards of carbon emissions and interview with EU Commissioner for climate action on the expectations for the final agreement.

20 minutos (Spain) also portrays the climate conference as a special section of its online version. The newspaper does not have analytical or opinion articles, focusing mainly on the events happening in Paris, both inside the meeting rooms and outside, for example it published stories on protests taking place in front of the Conference’s building. A distinctive factor in regard to Spanish coverage is that both outlets featured stories with scientists and experts point of view in relation to the agreement, also adopting a more critical view of the goals established by the document.

Portugal

In Portugal, daily coverage of the Conference can be found in newspapers Público and Diário de Notícias. Público had an editorial questioning the goals set by the countries, and Diário de Notícias published an article where scientists defining as “inconsistent” the first draft of the agreement stating that it does not establish proper goals that would be able to tackle climate change.