Scaling Climate Change Communication for Behavior Change
Abstract:Ultimately, effective climate change communication results in a change in behavior, whether the change is individual, household or collective actions within communities. We describe two efforts to promote climate-friendly behavior via climate communication and behavior change theory. Importantly these efforts are designed to scale climate communication principles focused on behavior change rather than soley emphasizing climate knowledge or attitudes. Both cases are embedded in rigorous evaluations (randomized controlled trial and quasi-experimental) of primary and secondary outcomes as well as supplementary analyses that have implications for program refinement and program scaling. In the first case, the Girl Scouts "Girls Learning Environment and Energy” (GLEE) trial is scaling the program via a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) for Troop Leaders to teach the effective home electricity and food and transportation energy reduction programs. The second case, the Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) Assembly Program, is advancing the already-scaled assembly program by using communication principles to further engage youth and their families and communities (school and local communities) in individual and collective actions.
Scaling of each program uses online learning platforms, social media and “behavior practice” videos, mastery practice exercises, virtual feedback and virtual social engagement to advance climate-friendly behavior change. All of these communication practices aim to simulate and advance in-person train-the-trainers technologies.
As part of this presentation we outline scaling principles derived from these two climate change communication and behavior change programs.