Starting a conversation with conservatives on climate

COIN in the UK has put together a tool kit on how to frame a constructive conversation with center-right conservatives in Europe.


The key indicator of belief in climate change is still political affiliation. Combined with a lack of trust meaning that facts don’t change minds, this guide aims to break the deadlock.


Addressing climate change in Europe requires the majority of society to agree on the need to act. This consensus can’t be reached without conservatives.

Surveys in Europe find those with centre-right political beliefs are less concerned about climate change.

The eight core conservative values identified in the research were:

  1. Resistance to change/defence of the status quo
  2. Support for authority, hierarchy and acceptance of inequality
  3. Need for closure and certainty
  4. Conscientiousness
  5. Focus on purity
  6. Loyalty to the in-group
  7. Sensitivity to negativity
  8. Enjoyment of life/contentment


The frames suggested for communicating with European conservatives are:

  1. Balance/caution
    eg. Renewable energy is affordable and safe energy.
  2. Stability
    eg. A stable and foreseeable framework for long term investments
  3. Fairness
    eg. Creating a level playing field for new technologies by removing fossil fuel subsidies
  4. Realism
    eg. Ideas that are actionable and seen as achievable
  5. Leadership
    eg. European leadership paid off when Obama’s plan mirrored Euro action
  6. Duty and responsibility
    eg. Our moral duty to leave a better planet for our children
  7. Health and life
    eg. Talking about the dangers of pollution rather than ‘climate’
  8. Religious faith
    eg. The duty to protect God’s creation
  9. Freedom
    eg. The freedom to choose where your energy comes from
  10. Us (in-group framing)
    eg. This is an issue that we with our values, skills, intelligence and experience can best solve


image via Alvaro Canivell (cc) flickr

Date: 2015
Organization: COIN
Strategic Approach: Audiences, Engagement, Evaluation, Framing, Other
Organization: COIN
Strategic Approach: Audiences, Engagement, Evaluation, Framing, Other

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