We analyzed over 2,300 news and opinion articles from 2019 related to renewable energy. Articles came from LexisNexis and Google News and from publications including national and state outlets, and online and trade publications.
Our goal was to learn how the media covers renewable energy. We especially wanted to know if funding gaps in climate philanthropy led to a gap in media coverage of local leaders and innovations. We were curious as to what extent articles would quote women as spokespeople, reference issues of equity, or talk about communities of color.
- Clean energy news articles quoting women doubled: Women were quoted in 42% of clean energy articles in 2019, up from 21% the year before.
- Communities of color were not well represented: Despite being disproportionately impacted by climate change and fossil fuels, communities of color were referenced in only 2% of articles.
- Equity and justice were not top of mind: Only 6% of the articles referenced issues related to equity and justice.
Local leaders and their organizations made an impact: They are having outsized impact in the renewable energy space, especially relative to the funding they receive.