The appeasement effect of a United Nations climate summit on the German public

Brüggemann, Michael; De Silva-Schmidt, Fenja; Hoppe, Imke; Arlt, Dorothee; Schmitt, Josephine B. (2017). The appeasement effect of a United Nations climate summit on the German public. Nature climate change, 7(11), pp. 783-787. Nature Publishing Group 10.1038/NCLIMATE3409

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The annual UN climate summits receive intense global media coverage , and as such could engage local publics around the world, stimulate debate and knowledge about climate politics, and, ultimately, mobilize people to combat climate change. Here we show that, in contrast to these hopes, although the German public were exposed to news about the 2015 Paris summit, they did not engage with it in a more active way. Comparing knowledge and attitudes before, during and after the summit using a three-wave online panel survey (quota sample, N = 1,121), we find that respondents learnt a few basic facts about the conference but they continue to lack basic background knowledge about climate policy. Trust in global climate policy increased a little, but citizens were less inclined to support a leading role for Germany in climate politics. Moreover, they were not more likely to engage personally in climate protection. These results suggest that this global media event had a modest appeasing rather than mobilizing effect.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Institute of Mass Communication Studies

UniBE Contributor:

Arlt, Dorothee


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology




Nature Publishing Group




Dorothee Arlt

Date Deposited:

14 May 2018 13:44

Last Modified:

22 Oct 2019 18:47

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

media effects climate change COP UN climate summit




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