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Action on Climate Change through Engagement, Networks and Tools

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Changing perceptions on a changing climate

In recent years, people have received a great deal of information on the causes and consequences of climate change. Depending on countries and regions, however, the understanding of citizens and their engagement with these topics is still varied.

Climate Change and Environment

The EU-funded ‘Action on climate change through engagement, networks and tools’ (ACCENT) project aimed at contributing to a global effort to move the campaign on climate change from the 'informative' to the 'active' phase. This was to be achieved through the exchange and dissemination of practices, with specific activities that encourage the involvement of citizens in actions and dialogue. ACCENT took the form of a European participative campaign involving 15 science centres, science museums and aquaria. Each made interactive and participative communication tools available to a large number of European citizens. After exchanging and defining best practises and research for climate change communication, the participating institutions set about engaging citizens. All centres of the consortium organised special communication activities by stimulating the curiosity of visitors about climate change phenomena. Public debates were held at the institutions, engaging over 670 participants. The purpose of these debates was to get people thinking and talking about the future, in order to offer useful tools for European decision makers. Other events aimed at reaching out to the public included science demonstrations, performances, participatory games and educational activities. A main result of ACCENT was the launch of the 'I Do' communication and branding campaign. The I Do campaign provided a framework for delivering key messages about climate change issues to an even wider target audience. In total, about 2.6 million people were involved in the I Do campaign events, activities and exhibitions on climate change. The findings have shown that many citizens feel uninformed about the true impact of climate change, despite their interest in the subject. This information will be used to develop more effective means of communicating with the public, allowing them to truly do their part for climate change.

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