Since 2018, we’ve been following media coverage to see where the gaps are when it comes to renewable energy stories and how the energy narrative reflects people and communities. We’ve also explored how funding gaps in climate philanthropy correlate with a lack in media coverage. In the last few years, we saw progress—our 2021 Climate Solutions Narrative Trends Report shows that there is momentum happening.

– Gloria Walton CEO The Solutions Project

In 2021, the research team at Conspire for Good analyzed over 7,000 news and opinion articles and 3,900 top-engagement social media posts focused on climate solutions, where we found seeds of hope and inspiration among the obvious challenges of our time. Our analysis spanned three issue areas related to climate solutions: Renewable Energy, Water, and Food Systems.

Key Findings from this year’s report include:

  • Coverage of climate solutions in 2021 reflected and reinforced a pervasive and interrelated sense of social, environmental, and public health crises.
  • Coverage seems to accurately describe the origin of the many natural disasters that marked the year: of 1,431 instances of messaging about natural disasters, 65% linked the cause to climate change.
  • Across coverage of renewable energy, water, and food systems, when a person was referenced or quoted in an article, it’s more likely that person was a woman. This suggests that media covering climate solutions is equitably reflecting women spokespeople.
  • Across the issue areas covered in this report, articles that mentioned communities of color were slightly more likely to focus on solutions than articles that did not. In 1,418 articles that referenced communities of color, 50% focused on solutions; in 5,785 articles that did not mention communities of color, only 46% focused on solutions.
  • Natural disasters, along with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, provided opportunities for advocates and lawmakers to highlight needed policy and infrastructure changes, especially because these crises disproportionately affect frontline communities, in particular, Black and Indigenous Americans.

While we celebrate the active shift in the climate movement, more must and can be done. There are opportunities for journalists, aspiring journalists, content creators, and storytellers to amplify climate justice solutions and focus on grassroots movement leaders and their respective communities. We need to share their stories and celebrate successes that have been historically excluded from mainstream media to show the global community what’s possible and radically reimagine what an equitable and sustainable future looks like—for all people and the places we call home.

– Gloria Walton CEO The Solutions Project

For more information, please contact Thelma, thelma@thesolutionsproject.org.

Renewable Energy Narrative Trends 2021

Get the nitty gritty on equitable representation of women and communities of color around climate change in the media.

Download the Report

(PDF, 13MB)

Hope & Justice: The latest shifts in the climate solutions media landscape

Join us June 30th, for a special webinar where we will discuss the most recent findings from the Climate Solutions Narrative Trends report. We will also hear from Uproot and the Solutions Journalism Network about additional narrative shifts underway. This webinar will also share active case studies and resources available to those trying to turn the tide with climate media.

Register for the Webinar