Communicating Environmental Issues

The Environmental Protection Agency commissioned us to examine ways to improve communication about environmental issues with young people. Work on this project began in Summer 2021, with a review of the relevant literature and discussion with key stakeholders.

In April 2022we conducted a pre-registered, online experiment with 500 young people aged 16-24 to test whether framing climate change information in generational terms affects worry about climate change, perception of others’ worry, belief in collective action and pro-environmental intentions (link to report). The study produced two outputs. The first was published as a Working Paper in July 2022 and showed generational framing amplified worry about climate change, with limited effects on other measures. Providing accurate information on older people’s worry boosted belief in collective action, particularly for the majority who initially underestimated it. The second, an ESRI report, is expected in Winter 2023, and details young people’s knowledge of climate mitigation actions and their support for change.