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Key Concepts in Climate Communication

Climate communication has evolved from debating the reality of human-caused climate change to facing the urgent challenge of mobilizing entire publics in the project of massive climate action. Have you ever wondered how to start or respond to a conversation about climate? Is it possible to communicate about climate adaptation in a way that inspires people? This four-week course addresses these questions, equipping learners with key concepts for effective communication as well as best practices and guidance from leading climate communication experts and researchers.
Facilitator: Virginia McKendry
Key Concepts in Climate Communication
Start Date:Apr 03, 2023
End Date:Apr 30, 2023
Delivery:4 weeks, Asynch and Synch Online
Price:$750.00 + GST
Course code: PAPC053_Y2223P-01

Climate Action Fundamentals for Communications is about communication principles (messaging, audience, impact) and the latest thinking in the climate communication agenda – which is examining how to mobilize publics through engagement and artful communication content. Communication is a creative force that shapes and colours every aspect of climate research, action, and activism. The course is about equipping audiences with self-efficacy and showing them ways to participate in climate adaptation. It’s about how to engage with people so that they are more likely to change their attitudes and behaviours, with an emphasis on maintaining and sustaining social connection. The last week of this course will include a module that will give learners some strategic communication skills that they can apply in numerous contexts (work, personal, etc.) in relation to specific goals. Learners will also keep up to date with climate communication researchers and practitioners so that they become aware of the knowledge hubs and gain confidence in how to apply these concepts in order to create change.

Recorded lectures, case studies, asynchronous exercises, current real world examples, interactive synchronous sessions, and peer to peer learning opportunities will happen in this four-week intensive. Students’ time commitment in the course includes assignments, readings, videos, and participation in online discussion forums.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand communication as a field of knowledge and practice, and appreciate its ethical dimensions;
  • Explore climate communication as a dynamic and specialized field with its own concepts, challenges, and best practices;
  • Incorporate concepts of framing, narrative, and visual communication to develop authentic connections with targeted audiences, for the purpose of enhancing individual and collective adaptive capacity and action;
  • Identify climate communication specialist and resource hubs to support understanding and ongoing engagement;
  • Apply basic strategic communication principles to analyze case studies and inform the communication of adaptation projects.

Learner Effort

  • This four-week course will include individual and group exercises, readings, videos, and participation in online discussion forums.
  • Each week, participants will convene for a one hour synchronous session online focused on applying the concepts and methodologies explored in each module.
  • The total time commitment will be approximately 25 hours or about 4-6 hours per week.

Live (Synchronous) Sessions

  • Live (synchronous) sessions will be scheduled by the instructor.
  • Learners will be notified of the time of these sessions in the course.
  • Live (synchronous) sessions will be recorded for learners unable to attend.

Computer Requirements
A week prior to the course start date, learners will receive an email from Royal Roads University Professional and Continuing Studies with information on how to access the online course. At that time learners will be encouraged to visit a short orientation website to familiarize themselves with the online learning platform. Learners will find the computer requirements for this course through this link: