climate change politics

Talking climate in the language of the right

Britain’s general election is underway, and once again the climate is more or less invisible as an issue. Perhaps that’s not surprising when the incumbent abolished the Department of Energy and Climate Change in her first week in office, but it’s not something I’m hearing much about from the opposition either. Other issues are hogging all the attention.

As I was thinking about this, I was reminded of one of George Marshall’s key points: there are lots of ways to talk about climate change, and we tend to use a fairly narrow band of language and values. We make it too easy to peg climate change as an issue of the left. Obviously the safety of our planetary home isn’t something that one can plug into the political spectrum. But there are ways of talking about it that will resonate with different audiences, and the usual narratives that campaigners use don’t play so well with Conservatives.

So, taking Marshall’s own advice from the end of this video, allow me to share his thoughts on the matter during this election season. And have a look at the guide from Climate Outreach on how to talk about climate and energy with Conservative audiences.


  1. Thanks for writing about this, this is such an important topic. We can’t afford climate to be pigeon-holed as a left-wing issue, we urgently need people of all political stripes to be engaged. To that end I recently wrote this article about 5 traditional right-wing values that make a compelling case for climate action: – your thoughts would be much appreciated! 🙂

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