IPCC Side Event: From science to solutions: Uses and strategies of IPCC communications for a climate-changing world

This post is authored by: Larry Rodman, Sachi Singh, Rachel Fried and Sam Geldin

The IPCC held its side event Monday evening, November 30, focused on communications strategies to help the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) make its work more accessible and actionable. The panel of speakers included Hoesung Lee, the new Chair of the IPCC, Paul Lussier, Director of the Yale Science Communications With Impact Network (SCWIN), Celia Blauel, Deputy Mayor, City of Paris, Ali Shareef, a Member of the UNFCCC Adaptation Committee, and Keith Tuffley, CEO, The B Team Business Leadership Initiative. Jonathan Lynn, Head of Communications of the IPCC moderated the panel.

The speakers discussed the need for the IPCC to leverage its reputation for rigorous science to reach a broader audience and find practical applications for its work. Each of the speakers presented his or her views on steps the IPCC can take to achieve this goal. Paul Lussier spoke about the idea of humanistic communications, which seeks to engage people with the challenges of climate change by appealing to their values, rather than through advocacy and exhortation.

Following the speaker presentations, Sachi Singh, a Yale FES first year MEM candidate, presented the Science to Adaptation (S2A) Platform. The S2A Platform, incubated at Yale SCWIN under the direction of Paul Lussier, and developed with the support of the UNFCCC Secretariat and IPCC, will provide policy makers and adaptation practitioners in least developed countries (LDCs) with access to the knowledge and services of scientists affiliated with the IPCC and other science networks, to help LDCs in development and implementation of their National Adaptation Plans.

Rachel Fried, a Yale FES/SOM joint degree candidate, then presented the Science to Business (S2B) Platform. S2B, also a project of Yale SCWIN under Paul Lussier’s direction, is being developed with support from the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). This digital platform and subsequent network, seeks to link multidisciplinary and IPCC affiliated scientists with business leaders to help companies address their toughest social and sustainability challenges.

The presentations drew active questioning from the audience at the side event, and provided the IPCC with validation to actively support S2A and S2B as initiatives to implement a unique new engagement and communications strategy.