“A new national mood with 66 percent of adults worried by the state of the planet, climate change and the decline of wildlife and nature.”
Suddenly every newspaper in the land is going green.
First, last November, the Sun was extolling the PM’s green credentials:
Then it created a campaign and logo to push for green policies:
Including some specific ideas and projects we can all take on:
– a brilliant new campaign showing how EVERY reader can make small lifestyle changes to help save the planet. And we want you and your family to join our eco revolution.
Our measures will not cost the earth. In fact they will help you SAVE money.
A poll of Sun readers found nearly three quarters are more concerned than five years ago about our impact on the planet.
Now the Express is doing the same:Daily Express: Green Britain: Revolution will create 1.18 million new jobs in huge post-pandemic boost | Bright Blue
With a launch of their campaign earlier this month:
An exclusive poll commissioned by the Daily Express shows we are tapping into a new national mood with 66 percent of adults worried by the state of the planet, climate change and the decline of wildlife and nature.
And there is a majority in favour changing the tax laws to encourage a greener approach and to make polluters pay.
The Daily Express is calling on Boris Johnson to show world leadership on the issue in the run-up to the G7 summit in Cornwall in June and the crunch Cop 26 climate change summit in Glasgow in November.
Our “Green Britain Needs You” campaign has already won the backing of the bosses of the biggest green groups who between them represent well over eight million members
And support for the government’s own green policies:
The Government has ambitious plans to invest billions more into the renewable sector, putting the country on the path to being the green envy of the world.
Certainly the new editor at the Express has brought about new directions:
There is inevitably some scepticism being expressed, even locally:
So the Sun and Express have come out in favour of climate action…
Long-time environmentalists have welcomed the shift, even if with a healthy trace of “I told you so”. The former Green Party leader Natalie Bennett wrote on Twitter: “We’ve won the argument, but now we need #ClimateAction, not just words.”
Finally, the uncritical narrative of a glorious national past and prosperous green future silences issues around inequalities in the experiences and effects of environmental degradation both within the UK and globally. Neither the Express nor the Sun afford much space to global climate justice and the narratives and demands of environmental movements from the global south. Ultimately, these are significant limitations that should temper our enthusiasm.
“This is a volte-face of enormous proportions,” said James Painter, who researches the media’s representation of climate change at the University of Oxford’s Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.
The publications’ backing of Johnson’s green campaign has the potential to boost support for stronger policies, as it’s done in the past with Brexit and during elections. It’s difficult for the media to change peoples’ minds about a topic, but it can reinforce existing views through repetition, said Painter. In the case of climate change, the tabloids are a good barometer of how public opinion in the U.K. has shifted, and a sign it will probably continue to move in that direction.