Citizen Engagement on Climate

To demonstrate what effective public engagement on climate looks like, and to help create the conditions for its scaling

At the Foundation, we have been exploring what contribution we can make to addressing one of the most urgent global challenges for people and the planet: climate change. 

The UK Branch’s Citizen Engagement on Climate strand (established in 2020) will help build and evidence the public mandate to tackle climate change. We are looking forward to playing our part alongside so many others who have been working on this issue for so long. 

The Foundation’s commitment to climate action

Our Head Office in Lisbon has placed sustainability at the heart of the Foundation’s strategy. In mid-2019, the Foundation embarked on a path to align our investments with the philanthropic aims of the Foundation. It also awarded the first Prize for Humanity in the field of climate change to Greta Thunberg in July 2020.

Why public engagement? 

Public engagement is key to how the environmental sector can ensure local and national governments fulfil their responsibility to achieve carbon neutrality. Involving communities in climate action is also essential to achieve the individual behaviour change that we need to tackle climate change. 

Public engagement involves a wide range of activity, including (but not limited to) communications, education, community activism and political activism. In this first phase of work, we will explore where we can provide the best value add to support the sector. 

What we will work on 

By collecting and sharing evidence of what works, we want to help build the capacity of providers and speed up the process of successfully engaging communities in climate action. We will also evidence the value of public engagement in climate action, to encourage its uptake. 

We are particularly interested in the interface between the ocean and climate change and how to bring about changes in behaviour through narrative and framing. We are building on what we have learnt from our work in Valuing the Ocean on the value of effective communications to engage people in environmental issues.

As with our other strands of work, we will ensure an international dimension with reach that benefits individuals and communities in and beyond the UK. 

Phase One

The first phase will run until January 2022. In Phase One we are focusing on: 

  • Continuing to scope the field, building the evidence base and commissioning research to develop our strategy.
  • Setting up partnerships with organisations working on public engagement on climate.
  • Supporting collaboration in the sector in advance of COP26, and thinking beyond COP26.

Stay up to date

The UK branch is not currently open to new applications, but further announcements may be made in due course. This webpage will be updated as our plans develop – you can also subscribe to our quarterly newsletter for updates.


Header photo:  Bicycle rush hour, Mikael Colville-Andersen/Copenhagenize Design Co./Copenhagen via Climate Visuals.