The paper “From “Knowledge Brokers” to Opinion Makers: How Physical Presence Affected Scientists’ Twitter Use During the COP21 Climate Change Conference” was published in the International Journal of Communication. This study investigates the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference summit and examines scientists’ social media use by analyzing “digital traces” that scientists left on social media during the summit. Using geolocated tweets, we compare the Twitter use of scientists who attended the conference with those who did not. Combining automated, quantitative, and qualitative content analysis, the study shows how scientists participating in the conference provided live reporting and formed a transnational network. Scientists at the conference and elsewhere engaged in political advocacy, indicating a shift toward a new pattern of hybrid science communication, which includes characteristics that have formerly been attributed to journalism and advocacy.
“Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” Winston Churchill
Quite a few commentators of the results of the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris (November/December 2015) have evoked this quote from Winston Churchill. It seems that, indeed, Paris marks the end of the beginning of debating anthropogenic climate change.
How do German citizens perceive climate change? What do they know about climate politics? And how do they evaluate national and international efforts against climate change?
Within the framework of our “Down to Earth” study, we aimed to answer these and further questions with an online survey with more than 2000 persons, conducted in Germany two weeks before this year’s climate conference in Paris.
On Saturday morning the COP went past its scheduled finishing time. With successive postponements of the release of the agreement text (which what was going to be, in all likelihood, a watered down, strategically vague version of what the world needed) I found myself wondering what to do.
When 196 nations met in Paris for COP21, the event naturally attracted global attention. It also fostered transnational debates on Twitter.
The Internet and more specifically social media enable many-to-many communication without the limitations of physically doing so, e.g having to convene in one geographical location. I wanted to find out the extent to which COP21 had “gone global” on Twitter. Besides this rather specific question, I was also interested in the general impact of COP21 on Twitter.
It has become accepted wisdom here that Paris 2015 is not Copenhagen 2009. This time, the US and China are on board; the price of renewables has dropped by more than half; the vast majority of countries have already pledged emission cuts and Paris is seen as a “staging post”, rather than a final destination.
But in one way at least, Paris 2015 is a re-run of 2009 Copenhagen. There are a staggering 3,700 ‘media representatives’ accredited in attendance, which is just short of the 4,000 (from 119 countries) present at Copenhagen.
Zi is a Chinese journalist currently working towards her master’s in journalism and globalisation in Hamburg.
On 11 December, CCTV posted 2 stories relating to the conference. One story titled ‘China denies rejection by ambition coalition at climate change conference’ emphasized China’s efforts on fighting against climate change by covering Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying’s speech at the climate change conference. The other one focused on US-China relations, titled ‘Chinese, U.S. presidents exchange views on climate conference, bilateral ties over phone’. This piece stressed the successful communication between China and the U.S. over climate change issues and called for strengthening coordination to reach agreement.
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: