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Dean's Series: Climate communication

Dr Margaret Heffernan talks to Professor Lorraine Whitmarsh MBE about how the public engages with climate change, energy and transport and how we can progress.

  • 31 May 2022, 4.00pm to 31 May 2022, 5.00pm BST (GMT +01:00)
  • This is an online event.
  • This event is free

Scientists have known about climate change since at least the 1980s – so why has it taken so long to get action? We know that at least 40% of the changes needed are down to the individual choices that citizens make, but recycling isn’t enough.

Most of the world agrees that climate change is real – but change remains agonisingly slow. So what are the productive ways to communicate the problem and the solutions? We can see that scaring people doesn’t work; what does?

Professor Lorraine Whitmarsh MBE has studied this issue for many years as a psychologist, environmental scientist and Director of the Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations. We will be discussing how the public engages with climate change, energy and transport, and what we can all do to drive progress.

Professor Lorraine Whitmarsh MBE

Professor Lorraine Whitmarsh MBE is an environmental psychologist, specialising in perceptions and behaviour in relation to climate change, energy and transport. She is Director of the Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations (CAST). Her research includes studies of energy efficiency behaviours, waste reduction and carrier bag reuse; perceptions of smart technologies and electric vehicles; low-carbon lifestyles; and responses to climate change.

Between 2014 and 2019, she held a prestigious European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant – Low-Carbon lifestyles and behavioural spillover (CASPI) – and since 2019 holds an ERC Consolidator Grant – Understanding and leveraging ‘moments of change’ for pro-environmental behaviour shifts (MOCHA). She is also a Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in Working Group II; and regularly advises governmental and other organisations on low-carbon behaviour change and climate change communication.


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