Starting a New Conversation on Climate Change with the European Centre-Right
Author(s): George Marshall, Adam Corner, Léane de Laigue
Addressing climate change at the European level requires that the majority of society accept the need to act. European level climate actions have been largely supported by a cross-political consensus, but this unity of purpose is weakening with the growing reluctance of the centre-right in some countries to take action. The political centre-right occupies the moderate centre of politics, though reflecting right-wing positions in its support for free markets and business. The location of the centre-right shifts according to the wider political trends, but it is consistently defined by its opposition to radicalism on both sides.
Unless communicators can find messages that engage centre-right audiences, doubts about the need for EU action will continue to be raised, with profound consequences for future climate change policy. It is clear that there is an increasing acceptance that simply communicating the science of climate change is not enough. This research follows a similar project undertaken by COIN focused on centre-right audiences in the UK.
European voters with centre-right politics are therefore a critically important audience to engage about climate change. Centre-right parties hold the balance of power in the European Parliament and control the governments of many member states. What is more, centre-right values are shared by many conservatives as well as many people who vote for centre-left parties.
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