Media: Mitigation focus


Climatic Change (2017)

Michael Hoerichs/Alamy Stock Photo

The 2015 Paris meeting was covered widely by the media. However, it’s not clear whether this coverage highlighted the full range of topics discussed or focused on a few key outcomes. To address this issue, as well as to determine if the topic coverage was similar globally, Sonya Gurwitt and colleagues from Brown University, Rhode Island, USA, analysed online articles from print newspaper coverage in 13 countries published during the 2-week meeting. The authors selected the countries to represent different stages of economic development, level of engagement in the UNFCCC process, geographical spread, and different political and media systems.

Of the 2,580 articles assessed, mitigation was found to be the main topic, with less coverage of adaptation issues. Coverage was skewed towards the developed world, with issues of greater importance to emerging economies and the developing world, such as vulnerability, equity, and population effects, receiving less coverage. Nigeria had the highest coverage of the developing world, with France having the most balanced coverage of the developed, emerging and developing world. The authors note that the coverage often focused on climate-change effects on natural systems, rather than on humans, highlighting a developed-world perspective.