Climate change has been a thorny issue for public broadcasters, resulting in coverage that has often been described as intangible, disjointed and for the most part, gloomy.  

But climate change IS happening and it is crucial for citizens, policy makers and governments alike to have a firm grasp of what the implications actually are. This offers an opportunity to public broadcasters to demonstrate their reach and value by providing critical information on the subject.

This is exactly what New Zealand’s public broadcaster – Radio New Zealand (RNZ) – has done with their Insight documentary, Climate Change – Politics and Actions.

The radio documentary examines the implications of President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement, the global accord to counter the effects of climate change.

The documentary turns the spotlight on Hawaiʻi which,  in June this year, became the first US state to introduce laws to implement the goals of the Paris Climate Agreements. It also explores the changes climate change has brought to the region.  

Insight also touches upon the issue of climate migration and the challenges many other Pacific Islands are facing due to climate change. This includes what New Zealand’s government is doing to help low-lying islands such as Kiribati and Tuvalu adapt to the changes.

“This award is a great recognition for RNZ and the quality of its coverage of Pacific news,” Philippa Tolley, Insight Executive Producer said. “These are important international issues and the Pacific voice needs to be heard.”

RNZ’s documentary, which was also accompanied by a written piece,  is a great example of how quality climate change coverage can give the subject greater context, highlight its political ramifications and reveal the sheer complexity of the issues that the changing climate is posing to societies across the world.

In September, the documentary won the inaugural Association for International Broadcasting (AIB) Sustainability Award for radio programming in Taipei..

Listen to the documentary below:

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