2021 Climate Solutions Narrative Trends
Coverage of climate solutions in 2021 reflected and reinforced a pervasive and interrelated sense of social, environmental, and public health crises. Coverage seems to accurately describe the origin of the many natural disasters that marked the year: of 1,431 instances of messaging about natural disasters, 65% linked the cause to climate change. Across coverage of renewable energy, water, and food systems, when a person was referenced or quoted in an article, it’s more likely that person was a woman. This suggests that media covering climate solutions is equitably reflecting women spokespeople. Across the issue areas covered in this report, articles that mentioned communities of color were slightly more likely to focus on solutions than articles that did not. In 1,418 articles that referenced communities of color, 50% focused on solutions; in 5,785 articles that did not mention communities of color, only 46% focused on solutions. Natural disasters, along with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, provided opportunities for advocates and lawmakers to highlight needed policy and infrastructure changes, especially because these crises disproportionately affect frontline communities, in particular, Black and Indigenous Americans.