Before dealing with environmental news reporting academically, I was involved in the environmental movement personally, since back in the 90s.
I was, for instance, at the World Social Forum which took place during the now sadly famous G8 summit in Genoa in July 2001. I was volunteering as a translator and spent several days actively participating. While there, I had the chance to attend and listen to workshops hosting prominent figures of the so called anti-globalisation movement. Within the movement, at that time, concepts, issues and stakeholders of the sustainability question were defined for an increasingly broad public – an internet-connected public. The discussion was especially relevant for a development-critical, possibly de-growth-oriented perspective. The international and Italian media coverage of that summit in particular, and the discrepancy with my own experience of the events that took place, was one of my journalistic biggest lessons so far.
Pedro is a Brazilian journalist currently working towards his master’s in journalism and globalisation at City University London. His Twitter handle is @pedrohcbarreto
In Brazil, the political turmoil is overshadowing the media coverage of the COP21. This weekend, Venezuela had general elections which received major attention from Brazilian outlets. Nevertheless, all the main newspapers had a special section on their websites dedicated to the conference – they are updated daily with articles written by correspondents, international news agencies and opinion pieces.
Everybody’s eyes are on Paris at the moment. For one week the climate summit has already filled many headlines, columns and articles in the media world.
It is a typical pattern. In fact, media researchers know that the conferences are rare times for climate change to get public attention. Paris is probably a new dimension – the biggest and most ambitious event ever, covered all around the world. Thus, a good time to think about what climate journalists should keep an eye on.
Monday morning the climate summit started with scores of state leaders arriving in their black cars, delegates and press mostly in hybrid shuttle buses.
But Espace Générations Climat – the forum for all the non-accredited NGOs and activists, remained closed. They were not allowed to open until Tuesday, evidently for security reasons. The amount one has to pay to be there is rather steep. A woman representing a small NGO said they had to pay 1700 Euro for just 9m2.
In the ancient mythical saga Ulysses, sirens were beautiful creatures with enchanting voices who would lure sailors to shipwreck on the rocky coast of their island with their sweet intoxicating music.
Ulyses, curious to hear the the siren’s song, ordered his men to bind him to the mast. He implored the crew, who had their ears plugged with wax, to leave him tied tightly to the mast, no matter how much he would beg. Upon hearing the sirens’ beautiful melody, Ulysses urged the sailors to untie him but they instead bound him tighter. The ship then navigated the narrow channel to safety: Ulysses actions had saved the lives of himself and the crew.
The day after the Paris attacks, a state of emergency was declared in France.
As a result, civil liberties were restrained and exceptional police powers were dedicated to regulating the movement and residence of the public. The state of emergency was promulgated by the French Assembly for a period of three months beginning on November 26, 2015. Demonstrations planned in Paris for COP21, such as the November 29 climate march, were banned. In this constrained context, what demonstrations by civil society related to COP21 were covered by media?
Monday morning the climate summit started with scores of state leaders arriving in their black cars, delegates and press mostly in electric shuttle buses. But Espace Générations Climat – the forum for all the non-accredited NGOs and activists, remained closed. They were not allowed to open until Tuesday, evidently for security reasons. The only demonstrators the delegates would see as they entered the accredited grounds of COP21 on Monday morning were seven angels with posters promoting climate justice and scorning fossil energy. Continue reading Degrees and vulnerability – personal account of the start of the summit
Do you need a ticket to COP21 in order to get the full story of what goes on? A week ago in Bilbao Spain, this provocative question was posed by Dr. Unai Pascualto a discussion group at the Basque Center for Climate Change. Unai’s question is an open one I’ve pondered in the lead up to the Paris round of negotiations and something I ask you to consider now.
Attending talks, observing negotiations, meeting with co-workers, researching and learning about new topics are all important dimensions of COP21 participation. However for those who aren’t attending COP21, media outlets are usually the way to go. From Europe alone, media actors from BBC to France24 to The Guardian and El Mundo – seemingly populate every part of the sprawling venue in Le Bourget. See Chris Russell’s good commentary of media resources ‘on the ground’ at Paris COP21
Climate conferences serve multiple purposes. Besides being important political events, they are also global media spectacles which push the topic of climate change to the top of political, scientific and public agendas.
Scientific data is always at the heart of the way climate change is discussed. Whether it be weather records, measurement of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere or the PH-value of the oceans.
Professor Hans von Storch is a highly distinguished ocean and climate scientist. He has written 20 books and sits on numerous climate advisory boards. He usually writes for the climate blog: Die Klimazwiebel
Recently, a journalist asked me in passing – which was the best COP so far, which the worst?
Honestly, I have not been a good observer of these meetings. All I know there were many and the next is #21. There was Copenhagen, sometimes labelled Hopenhagen by enthusiasts. It was COP15 and the year was 2009. Copenhagen, the last exit, it was called, the last chance for instituting a binding policy which would make “us” limit global anthropogenic (human-caused) climate change to a stable 2 deg in 2100.