For a Pisces Foundation-funded effort, we created a narrative framework that communicates the vital importance of tackling methane, hydrofluorocarbons, black carbon and other extra-potent climate-warming “super-pollutants” as a crucial complement to reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. To make sure the narrative would be useful to climate advocates in the field, we carried out a comprehensive landscape analysis – reviewing media coverage and interviewing Pisces grantees about their advocacy goals and the communication challenges they faced. Then, we used the landscape analysis to craft and facilitate an in-person and virtual convening with thought-leaders, funders and partners to map the needs of the collective group. The group agreed that the primary, near-term need was to develop a consistent narrative on how to talk about the importance of addressing SLCPs with international policymakers and country leaders.
A big question we explored during this messaging work was what to call “short-lived climate pollutants.” After our extensive research, we landed on super-pollutants as a consistent phrase that was strategic to amplify. We updated the narrative elements to focus on the need to defend the progress we’ve made and keep up momentum in the wake of the 2016 U.S. presidential election and post-Brexit decision in the U.K. Further, when we prioritize rapid cuts in super-pollutants, we stand a better chance of protecting people from the devastating impacts of climate change on their health and their communities. Solutions that allow us to act quickly are within reach. Acting now to reduce super-pollutants will boost other ongoing efforts to solve our climate crisis and protect people and communities around the world. Shortly after the narrative was finalized, two-thirds of grantees reported having integrated the framework into their work when communicating with policymakers.