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Public Affairs Insights from the Centre

8 Dec 2008

Getting the message right on carbon

Wayne Burns

Governments are finding it tricky to get the messages right to influence the behaviour of the public to strike a balance between putting a price in carbon to reduce emissions, and not harming the economy during the global economic crisis.

The same is true for companies.  In the face of potential job cuts and cost reductions, what is the balance between economic and environmental considerations?

This is especially complex because public debate has established in the minds of many people that the world has a very uncertain future if it does not tackle climate change immediately.

Getting the actions and messages about actions right for companies  - and ensuring they are credible - is one of the big public affairs challenges of the moment.

And the real trick is perhaps avoiding placing into conflict  the cost of efforts to reduce carbon footprint ahead of the cost of retaining jobs during an economic storm.

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