AUTreach – Communicating climate aware behaviour to young people in Austria

Supported by funds of Austrian Climate Research Program (ACRP, 6th Call); project duration: Mai 2014 – Apr 2016

Project management:
Centre for Global Change and Sustainability (gW/N) at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU); Dr. Sybille Chiari

Project partners:
Austrian Institute for Sustainable Development (ÖIN); Sylvia Mandl, MSc, Dr. Anja Christanell, Mag. Michaela Leitner
Department for Environmental Impact Assessment & Climate Change, Environment Agency Austria; Mag. Sonja Völler, Dipl.-Ing. Andrea Prutsch, Mag. Ivo Offenthaler, Dr. Jochen Bürgel
Climate Outreach and Information Network (COIN, UK); Dr. Adam Corner

Autreach aims to improve the communication of climate change issues (both mitigation and adaptation) towards the target group of young people in Austria. A strong emphasis is set on integrating actors of the Austrian climate community into the project.

The focus of the project is set on analysing the climate awareness within the target group, further on gathering and evaluating inspiring climate communication formats and spreading them among stakeholders.

Further the impact of diverging communication approaches –catastrophic imagery versus positive stimulation – will be compared. Further we will analyse how climate change mitigation and adaption issues can be communicated to the young in a complementary manner, that overcomes incongruities, but not at the expense of comprehensibility.

In addition we will investigate the impact of selected events on young participants involved (e.g. workshops, cc events and lectures) regarding their climate awareness and individual climate action.

The project results will be summarised in a „communication toolbox“, that provides an illustrative and comprehensible toolkit for stakeholders. Using a peer to peer training approach the project results (e.g. „communication toolbox“) will be disseminated to the Austrian climate community in a stakeholder workshop.

The AUTreach project builds on and benefits from the results of the ACRP-Project CcTalK! led by Umweltbundesamt / Vienna (e.g. extensive collection of communication formats considering climate change adaption issues, success factors for cc communication…). AUTreach will expand and evaluate this selection of communication formats with regard to contents (climate change mitigation and adaptation) and with regard to the specific target group of young people.

Mandl, Sylvia; Lessky, Franziska; Chiari, Sybille; Völler, Sonja (2015): Klimawandel und Kommunikation. Online-Befragung von Jugendlichen. Partial results of the project AUTreach. Vienna: Austrian Institute for Sustainable Development.

Corner, Adam; Roberts, Olga; Chiari, Sybille; Völler, Sonja; Mayrhuber, Elisabeth; Mandl, Sylvia; Monson, Kate (2015): How do young people engage with climate change? The role of knowledge, values, message framing, and trusted communicators. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, 2015, 6. Jg., Nr. 5, 523-534.