An analysis of center-right attitudes toward climate and energy issues in the U.K. following the Brexit vote revealed a number of key insights including that:
(1) Participants were very distrusting of elites, large institutions and corporations so it is more effective to amplify trusted local, non-elite voices and emphasise the ‘will of the people’ where there is majority support for a policy or issue.
(2) Special places and landscapes are valued, but human relationships matter more, so use messaging which speaks to that shared sense of pride in who we are as a people, and which reflects that belief and optimism.
(3) Protecting the purity of the family and our environment was a prominent theme -- and technology was as much a threat to this purity as pollution. Therefore, be careful in the promotion of new technologies as part of the solution.
(4) Climate change was not tangible or ‘front of mind’ for participants, so it is important to anchor campaign messages by foregrounding recognised, tangible, localised issues, such as reducing air pollution.
(5) A consistent theme in conversations with the centre-right is a desire for balance. Refer to changes in the weather can be referred to as the climate being ‘out of balance’ and also stress balance as a desirable personal value (e.g. people should not just take but also give something back to society and the economy.)
(6) It is important to be honest and open about the benefits and challenges of making the shift to renewables. Ensure messages are moderate and balanced in the claims made for renewable energy. Big claims about the transformation of energy systems may backfire.