A list of resources for journalists, broadcasters and organisations who want to report on climate change

Climate change is the biggest existential crisis that we face, yet the topic is often misreported or lacks in regular coverage.

Now, more than ever, climate science and climate change needs to be at the forefront of social, political and economic discussions. Journalists, in particular, can play a fundamental role in getting the message across and communicate not only the urgency, but also the effects of a rapidly changing climate that in turns affect the occurrence and intensity of natural hazards and disasters. But what is the best way to cover these issues?

We’ve pulled together this list of resources for journalists, broadcasters and organisations who want to cover climate change and want to learn more about climate science and disasters reporting. We will update this list regularly, so please get in touch if you have any recommendations.

Climate change

The Consensus Handbook 

This handbook explores the concept of climate consensus, a brief history and the importance of properly communicating scientific consensus on climate change. The handbook also contain sections on media coverage of climate change and the impact of misinformation about consensus on climate action and policies.

The State of Global Air Report

This second issue of the report – a collaboration between the Health Effects Institute and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation – includes data on household air pollution and total air pollution, widening the discussion on air quality and health around the world. The report provides the most recent data available on the topic as well as a picture of global air pollution and health levels since 1990.

Fear Doesn’t Work: Communicating Climate Change for 2017 (Handbook)

This toolkit by Climate Tracker summarises some of the best tips for communicating climate science and what role psychology and emotions play in processing climate science information. The guide also includes case studies on successful and failing climate communication strategies, and how it can influence public opinion and internal policy for better or for worse.

Multimedia tools help journalists tell meaningful stories of climate change (Report)

This excellent short report by the International Journalists’ Network offers six observations about the range of tools and techniques multimedia journalists can use to effectively report on the complexities of climate change.

Public engagement with climate change post-Brexit : a centre-right perspective (Guide)

How can climate change reporters, organisations, institutions and campaigners navigate the often problematic landscape post-Brexit Britain? Many climate professionals, journalists and campaigners have stated their difficulties when approaching those holding values aligned to centre-right politics. This guide, specific to the UK, aims to help its readers find the best language (and what to avoid) to convey climate change science in the best possible way to a centre-right audience.

Reporting on Climate Adaptation (Website and online resources)

The Reporting on Climate Adaptation project seeks to arm journalists with the tools needed to report on the ever growing range of tools available for the public, those in business or governance to adapt to the impacts of rapid climate change. As publics become increasingly aware of climate change there has been an “explosion of information and ideas” about adaptation that is not always well organised or readily available to reporters. This set of guides aims to help reporters in accurately reporting on the complexities of climate adaptation and effectively raise public awareness.

7 Ways to Use Data Effectively (Infographics)

An infographic and list of tips by Climate Tracker on how to make the most of data when covering climate change.

Beginners guide to writing about climate change (Handbook)

This handbook created by Climate Tracker includes exercises, case studies and tips on how to cover climate change for newcomers or those who want to take their first steps towards climate science reporting.

Climate Change on Television: What the Paris Agreement Means for Broadcasters (Report)

TV remains a main source of information for UK citizens and climate change is one of the today’s most pressing issues. Broadcasters can play a key role in informing their audiences about the challenges that climate change poses and how to deal with them. However, broadcasters around the world have had difficulties framing and portraying it as a solely environmental issues and ignoring its social, political and economic implications. This report broadly introduces these issues and also provides suggestions for ways in which broadcasters can produce more informative and more engaging climate change content for their audience, in light of last year’s Paris Agreement.

Faith and Climate Change – Talking with People of 5 Major Faiths </a (Guide)

This guide, created by Climate Outreach in collaboration with the interfaith group GreenFaith, explores and seeks to explain the links between religion, language and climate change. As faith often shapes people’s belief system, it is an important factor to consider when communicating climate change. As a practical guide it offers language that can work with the world’s five main faith groups (Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism) and across faiths but also explore cases in which language simply fails.

Klima 101: A Climate Change Guidebook for Philippine Journalists (Book/guide)

This book aims at helping Filipino journalists, editors, teachers and trainers to understand and face the complexities of climate change reporting. It gives a general overview of climate change, the kind of data needed to cover the issue and how to report it effectively. The book is divided into chapters with background information to guide journalists in their work.

Managing the Psychological Distance of Climate Change (Webinar & guide)

How do you overcome the “psychological distance” associated with climate change? One of the biggest challenges for researchers and journalists alike is how to actively engage the public with such a complex and overwhelming subject. This webinar and guide by Climate Outreach.

Communicating Climate Change Uncertainty (Guide and Handbook)

Uncertainty is one of the main aspects of climate change and perhaps the hardest to convey to the public. This guide and handbook, produced by Climate Outreach, seeks to give journalists a helping hand to communicate uncertainty, face the climate sceptics whilst still trying to engage the wider public as much as possible.

Climate change in Africa: a guidebook for journalists (Guidebook)

This book published by UNESCO specifically targets African journalists and aims to help them reporting on the complexity of climate change across the continent. This book was published after consultation with African journalists and climate change specialists who highlighted the gaps in African media coverage of climate change. The guidebook seeks to fill these gaps and provide a tool for all the African journalists who wish to cover climate science issues.

Climate Advocacy Lab

This website promotes effective tools and tactics for engaging the wider public on climate change. While the website is predominantly American focused, the resource library and the tips offered via the “Climate Chat” section are widely applicable to many other countries and regions in the world.

Climate Outreach

Climate Outreach is Europe’s leading climate communication organisation, providing advice and practical tools for engagement with climate change. Their mission is to engage people with climate change from their perspective, and thus their website offers a wide range of material on how to engage hard to reach communities, best communication strategy and climate communication information and research.

FLEGT: Helping journalists report on efforts to combat illegal logging (Website & online resources)

This multimedia resource was produced to mainly help reporters cover the European Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade Action plan (FLEGT), an initiative aimed at combatting illegal logging. Created by Internews’ Earth Journalism Network in association with the EU FLEGT Facility, this multimedia toolkit is nonetheless useful to any journalist who wishes to report on illegal logging around the world.


Oxpeckers is AFrica’s first journalistic investigation unit that focuses on environmental issues. It’s a non-profit company that seeks to improve the quality and impact of environmental journalism, especially in Africa. The site offers many tools and data sets, such as ClimaTracker, which shows weather changes across Southern Africa and how they affect the region, and #WildEye , which tracks illicit poaching activity throughout Europe.

Paths and Pitfalls to Investigating Climate Change: The Story of the Century

This article from the Earth Journalism Network highlights how journalists should not see climate change as just an environmental issue, but also an economic, social, security, health, food and political one. It further explains how journalists must hold companies to account who omit fossil fuels by ‘following the pollution’ to its source. It details 10 investigative paths journalists can follow to dig up important and news worthy stories surrounding climate change.

Reporting on Climate Adaptation 

This website offers resources and a reporting guide on covering climate adaptation. The website has categorised and organised more than 200 resources to equip journalists to tell more effective stories on climate adaptation.

Reporting on Climate Change

Detailed tips taken from Daniel Schrag, Sturgis Hooper Professor of Geology and Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering at Harvard University, on how journalists should be reporting on the climate crisis. They include:

  1. Understand the science
  2. Change your focus
  3. Include the correct content
  4. Tell the human story
  5. Use research to challenge leaders
  6. Acknowledge partisan divides

The problem with climate change reporting — and six tips to change it

This article urges journalists to think outside the box when reporting on climate change, coming up with new interesting angles that fall outside the standard ‘science-driven narrative’. Tips include:

  • Focus on infrastructure
  • Get creative with arts and culture 
  • Think about food & drink
  • Focus on community journalism 

Disasters & emergencies

8 ways to visualise wildfires

This article offers a roundup on how US journalists covered the 2018 California wildfires, and what technologies, methods and techniques they used to visualise them and the data available on them.

12+ tools and resources useful during hurricanes and other disasters

This list of tools by Poynter provides resources for journalists and newsrooms to make preparation, evacuation, coverage and recovery a little bit easier.

Covering hurricanes

A roundup of useful tips by Poynter on how to get ready for hurricanes, and ensure effective coverage and safety of staff as well as what went wrong in the past and how to learn from those mistakes.

What newsroom leaders can do now to prepare for disaster coverage

This article from the Columbia Journalism Review (CJR) discuss what newsrooms can and should be doing to prepare for disasters. The writers introduce a five-part framework and useful questions newsrooms can ask themselves to prepare for natural hazards and disasters.