The growth of positive social media commentary on climate action and economic growth has skyrocketed 700% over the last three years, according to new analysis.
A new analysis from the New Climate Economy thinktank has found that positive social media messages regarding climate action and economic growth have increased nearly eightfold over the past three years, based on research done covering media published between January 2013 and culminating just after the conclusion of COP21 in Paris, on 13 December, 2015.
According to the New Climate Economy (NCE), the flagship project of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, this dramatic shift in thinking “is indicative of a broader change in how business leaders, investors, and governments understand the relationship between tackling climate change and economic growth, and increasingly see the two goals as mutually compatible.”
Volume of Posts about Climate Action and Economic Growth up to 13 December 2015
The NCE team analyzed over 430,000 relevant English-language social media posts from Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and online forums, and found that positive messages about economic growth and climate action has increased by approximately 700%. This figure was reached by comparing the year and a half before June, 2014 to the year and a half following.
Messages specifically focused on the compatibility between climate action and economic growth grew a staggering 1500%.
Comparatively, negative social media commentary suggesting that climate action is too costly dropped by almost 15%.
Proportion of Posts about Climate Action and Economic Growth to 13 December 2015
“The positive shift in how people are talking about climate action and economic growth is striking,” said Helen Mountford, Programme Director of the New Climate Economy. “And the change in opinion on social media is just one part of the larger story. From business leaders, to government policymakers around the world, to economists, to mayors, to the general public, there is a deepening understanding that climate action is not only necessary, but it can also be good for development and growth. This understanding is now beginning to take root and certainly contributed to the positive momentum driving the successful Paris Agreement.”
The analysis was based on key words including climate, environment, climate change, CO2, carbon, emissions, global warming, economy, economics, economies, growth, GDP, and degrowth. The researchers used Crimson Hexagon, a social media analytics company, which “was best able to deliver a platform that could help the team monitor discourse across social and traditional media.”
The Topic Waves feature can be used to reveal the evolving stories in social media conversations and visualize the volume of conversation associated with topics over time. They are used for the purpose of identifying themes in the online conversation surrounding a certain topic, and present a quick way for understanding trends over time. Topic Waves identifies clusters of similar posts and plots the volume of these clusters over the selected time frame.
Source: Social Analytics Supports New Climate Economy’s Perception Initiative
Crimson Hexagon’s Platform Shows Evolving Opinions on Climate Action and Growth (PDF)