Communication strategies in the climate change debate on Facebook. Discourse on the Madrid Climate Summit (COP 25)



Palabras clave:

Climate change, Social media, Social networks, Facebook, Emotions, Communication strategies, Madrid Climate Summit, COP 25


Climate change (CC) has become a topic of great interest in traditional and social media, two valuable sources of information that contribute to discussion on current affairs. Facebook is the social network with the most users in the world and also promotes mobilization, which makes it a platform of great interest for the study of CC communication strategies. The aim of this study is to analyse the content of the messages on CC posted on Facebook by prominent users: the relevance of the topic in the posts as a whole, objectives pursued, type of discourse and the emotions associated with messages. After validating a selection of 10 accounts (Greta Thunberg, Donald Trump, Scott Morrison, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Extinction Rebellion USA, Justin Trudeau, Bernie Sanders, United Nations, Extinction Rebellion UK and Jane Fonda), the methodology was based on content analysis applied to messages on CC (n = 599) posted on Facebook by the selected accounts between 1 November 2019 and 10 January 2020, the period covering the Madrid Climate Summit (COP 25, held in 2019). The results revealed different CC communication strategies. Regarding the presence of CC as a topic, we observed three different strategies: omission, simple mention and high presence. In terms of discourse, we noticed two different strategies: an emotional strategy that was more successful at generating interaction with others, and an analytical strategy that was generally more belligerent in its fight against CC.


Abejón, Paloma; Carrasco, Rafael; Cabedo, Javier; Mera, Montse (2020). “Los políticos como fuentes de la información sobre cambio climático. Comparativa entre los digitales El país y ABC”. Estudios sobre el mensaje periodístico, v. 26, n. 4, pp. 1283-1293.

Abidin, Crystal (2015). “Micromicrocelebrity: Branding babies on the internet”. M/C Journal, v. 18 n. 5.

Águila-Coghlan, Juan-Carlos (2016). La comunicación del cambio climático: análisis del discurso de los telediarios españoles sobre las cumbres de Cancún y Durban. Tesis doctoral, Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

Atanasova, Dimitrinka; Koteyko, Nelya (2015). “Metaphors in Guardian online and mail online opinion-page content on climate change: war, religion, and politics”. Environmental communication, v. 11, n. 4, pp. 452-469.

Badullovich, Nicholas; Grant, Will J.; Colvin, Rebecca M. (2020). “Framing climate change for effective communication: a systematic map”. Environmental research letters, v. 15, n. 12, 123002.

Bell, Karen; Bevan, Gnisha (2021). “Beyond inclusion? Perceptions of the extent to which Extinction Rebellion speaks to, and for, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) and working-class communities”. Local environment, v. 26, n. 10, pp. 1205-1220.

Bevan, Luke D.; Colley, Thomas; Workman, Mark (2020). “Climate change strategic narratives in the United Kingdom: emergency, extinction, effectiveness”. Energy research & social science, v. 69, 101580.

Bloomfield, Emma-Frances; Tillery, Denise (2019). “The circulation of climate change denial online: Rhetorical and networking strategies on Facebook”. Environmental communication, v. 13, n. 1, pp. 23-34.

Boulianne, Shelley; Lalancette, Mireille; Ilkiw, David (2020). “School strike 4 climate”: social media and the international youth protest on climate change”. Media and communication, v. 8, n. 2, pp. 208-218.

Brown, Anna-Josiah (2019). Changing the climate of climate change, climate change as an issue of inequality: A study of four latinx climate leaders from New York City. Doctoral thesis, University of Chicago.

Brown-Jarreau, Paige (2014). “When quotes matter: impact of outside quotes in a science press release on news judgment”. Journal of science communication, v. 13, n. 4, pp. 1824-2049.

Camaj, Lindita; Santana, Arthur D. (2015). “Political deliberation on Facebook during campaigns: exploring the relevance of moderator’s technical role and political ideology”. Journal of information technology & politics, v. 12, n. 4, pp. 325-341.

Casero-Ripollés, Andreu (2018). “Investigación sobre información política y redes sociales: puntos clave y retos de futuro”. El profesional de la información, v. 27, n. 5, pp. 964-974.

Castillo-Esparcia, Antonio; López-Gómez, Sara (2021). “Public opinion about climate change in United States, partisan view and media coverage of the 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 25) in Madrid”. Sustainability, v. 13, n. 7, 3926.

Chia, Justin (2021). “Social media and the global climate strike: A tool for youth climate change activists and politicians”. Sojourners undergraduate journal of sociology, v. 12, n.1, pp. 18-39.

Cody, Emily M.; Reagan, Andrew J.; Mitchell, Lewis; Dodds, Peter-Sheridan; Danforth, Christopher M. (2015). “Climate change sentiment on Twitter: An unsolicited public opinion poll”. PLoS one, v. 10, n. 8, e136092.

Cohen, Jacob (1960) “A coefficient of agreement for nominal scales”. Educational and psychological measurement, v. 20, n. 1, pp. 37-46.

Coromina, Òscar; Prado, Emili; Padilla, Adrián (2018). “The grammatization of emotions on Facebook in the elections to the Parliament of Catalonia 2017”. El profesional de la información, v. 27, n. 5, pp. 1004-1012.

Dafonte-Gómez, Alberto (2018). “News media and the emotional public sphere. Audiences as medium: Motivations and emotions in news sharing”. International journal of communication, v. 12, pp. 2133-2152.

Dalrymple, Kajsa E.; Young, Rachel; Tully, Melissa (2016). “‘Facts, not fear’”: Negotiating uncertainty on social media during the 2014 Ebola crisis”. Science communication, v. 38, n. 4, pp. 442-467.

DataReportal (2021). Digital 2021: Global overview report.

De-Lara, Alicia; García-Avilés, José-Alberto; Revuelta, Gema (2017). “Online video on climate change: a comparison between television and web formats”. Journal of science communication, v. 16, n. 1.

Díaz-Barrado, Mario (1989). Análisis del discurso político. Una aproximación metodológica. Mérida: Editora Regional Extremeña. ISBN: 978 84 76711088

Dirikx, Astrid; Gelders, Dave (2010). “To frame is to explain: A deductive frame-analysis of Dutch and French climate change coverage during the annual UN Conferences of the parties”. Public understanding of science, v. 19, n. 6, pp.732-742.

Fesenfeld, Lukas-Paul; Rinscheid, Adrian (2021). “Emphasizing urgency of climate change is insufficient to increase policy support”. One Earth, v. 4, n. 3, pp. 411-424.

Francescutti, Pablo (2018). “Comunicación de la ciencia. Mucho más que explicar la física cuántica a las ancianitas”. Inmediaciones de la comunicación, v. 13, n. 2, pp. 15-25.

Funk, Cary; Gottfried, Jeffrey; Mitchell, Amy (2017). Science news and information today. Pew Research Center Journalism & Media.

Gallardo-Paúls, Beatriz (2017). “Pseudopolítica en la red: indicadores discursivos de desideologización en Twitter”. Pragmalingüística, n. 25, pp. 189-210.

Gil de Zúñiga, Homero; Jung, Nakwon; Valenzuela, Sebastián (2012). “Social media use for news and individuals’ social capital, civic engagement and political participation”. Journal of computer-mediated communication, v. 17, n. 3, pp. 319-336.

Gruzd, Anatoliy; Roy, Jeffrey (2014). “Investigating political polarization on Twitter: A Canadian perspective”. Policy & internet, v. 6, n. 1, pp. 28-45.

Heiss, Raffael; Schmuck, Desiree; Matthes, Jörg (2019). “What drives interaction in political actors’ Facebook posts? Profile and content predictors of user engagement and political actors’ reactions”. Information, communication & society, v. 22, n. 10, pp. 1497-1513.

Holmberg, Kim; Hellsten, Lina (2016). “Integrating and differentiating meanings in tweeting about the fifth intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC) report”. First Monday, v. 21, n. 9.

Hong-Tien, Vu; Blomberg, Matthew; Seo, Hyunjin; Liu, Yuchen; Shayesteh, Fatemen; Hung-Viet, Do (2020). “Social media and environmental activism: Framing climate change on Facebook by global NGOs”. Science communication, v. 43, n. 1, pp. 91-115.

IPCC (2019). Climate change and land: An IPCC special report on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems (P. R. Shukla, J. Skea, E. Calvo-Buendía, V. Masson-Delmotte, H.-O. Pörtner, D. C. Roberts, P. Zhai, R. Slade, S. Connors, R. Van Diemen, M. Ferrat, E. Haughey, S. Luz, S. Neogi, M. Pathak, J. Petzold, J. Portugal Pereira, P. Vyas, E. Huntley, K. Kissick, M. Belkacemi, J. Malley, eds.).

Jacques, Peter J.; Connolly-Knox, Claire (2016). “Hurricanes and hegemony: A qualitative analysis of micro-level climate change denial discourses”. Environmental politics, v. 25, n. 5, pp. 831-852.

Jang, S. Mo; Hart, P. Sol (2015). “Polarized frames on ‘climate change’ and ‘global warming’ across countries and states: Evidence from Twitter big data”. Global environmental change, v. 32, pp. 11-17.

Katz-Kimchi, Merav; Manosevitch, Idit (2015). “Mobilizing Facebook users against Facebook’s energy policy: The case of Greenpeace unfriend coal campaign”. Environmental communication, v. 9, n. 2, pp. 248-267.

Kobayashi, Tetsuro; Ichifuji, Yu (2015). “Tweets that matter: Evidence from a randomized field experiment in Japan”. Political communication, v. 32, n. 4, pp. 574-593.

Kramer, Adam D. I.; Guillory, Jamie E.; Hancock, Jeffrey T. (2014). “Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks”. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, v. 11, n. 24, pp. 8788-8790.

Landis J. Richard; Koch, Gary G. (1977). “The measurement of observer agreement for categorical data”. Biometrics, v. 33, pp. 159-174.

Li, Nan; Akin, Heather; Su, Leona-Yi-Fan; Brossard, Dominique; Xenos, Michael A.; Scheufele, Dietram A. (2016). “Tweeting disaster: an analysis of online discourse about nuclear power in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident”. JCOM: Journal of science communication, v. 15, n. 5.

Lutzke, Lauren; Drummond, Caitlin; Slovic, Paul; Árvai, Joseph (2019). “Priming critical thinking: Simple interventions limit the influence of fake news about climate change on Facebook”. Global environmental change, v. 58, pp. 1-14.

Markowitz, Ezra; Shariff, Azim (2012). “Climate change and moral judgement”. Nature climate change, v. 2, pp. 243-247.

Myers, Teresa; Nisbet, Matthew; Maibach, Edward; Leiserowitz, Anthony (2012). “A public health frame arouses hopeful emotions about climate change”. Climatic change, v. 113, pp. 1105-1112.

National Science Board (2018). “Science and technology: Public attitudes and understanding”. Science and Engineering Indicators. Arlington.

Nisbet, Matthew C. (2009). “Communicating climate change: Why frames matter for public engagement”. Environment: Science and policy for sustainable development, v. 51, n. 2, pp. 12-23.

Nordensvard, Johan; Ketola, Markus (2021). “Populism as an act of storytelling: analyzing the climate change narratives of Donald Trump and Greta Thunberg as populist truth-tellers”. Environmental politics, Online first.

O’Neill, Saffron; Hywel, Williams; Kurz, Tim; Wiersma, Bouke; Boykoff, Maxwell (2015). “Dominant frames in legacy and social media coverage of the IPCC fifth assessment report”. Nature climate change, v. 5, n. 4, pp. 380-385.

Painter, James; Erviti, María-del-Carmen; Fletcher, Richard; Howarth, Candice; Kristiansen, Silje; León, Bienvenido; Ouakrat, Alan; Russel, Adrienne; Schäfer, Mike S. (2016). Something old, Something new: Digital media and the coverage of climate change. Oxford: Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.

Painter, James; Kristiansen, Silje; Schäfer, Mike S. (2018). “How ‘digital-born’ media cover climate change in comparison to legacy media: A case study of the COP 21 summit in Paris”. Global environmental change, v. 48, pp. 1-10.

Papacharissi, Zizi (2015). Affective publics: Sentiment, technology, and politics. Oxford University Press.

Pearce, Warren; Holmberg, Kim; Hellsten, Lina; Nerlich, Brigitte (2014). “Climate change on Twitter: Topics, communities and conversations about the 2013 IPCC Working Group 1 report”. PloS one, v. 9, n. 4, e94785.

Pearce, Warren; Niederer, Sabine; Özkula, Suay-Melisa; Sánchez-Querubín, Natalia (2019). “The social media life of climate change: Platforms, publics, and future imaginaries”. Wiley interdisciplinary reviews: Climate change, v. 10, n. 2, e569.

Perrin, Andrew (2015). Social media usage: 2005-2015. Pew research center, 12 pp.

Runge, Kristin K.; Yeo, Sara K.; Cacciatore, Michael; Scheufele, Dietram A.; Brossard, Dominique; Xenos, Michael A.; Anderson, Ashley; Choi, Doo-hun; Kim, Jiyoun; Xuan-Liang, Nan Li; Stubbings, Maria; Su, Leona-Yi-Fan (2013). “Tweeting nano: How public discourses about nanotechnology develop in social media environments”. Journal of nanoparticle research, v. 15, n. 1.

Sabherwal, Anita; Ballew, Matthew T.; Van-Der-Linden, Sander; Gustafson, Abel; Goldberg, Matthew H.; Maibach, Edward W.; Kotcher, John E.; Swim, Janet K.; Rosenthal, Seth A.; Leiserowitz, Anthony (2021). “The Greta Thunberg effect: Familiarity with Greta Thunberg predicts intentions to engage in climate activism in the United States”. Journal of applied social psychology, v. 51, n. 4, pp. 321-333.

Segerberg, Alexandra; Bennett, W. Lance (2011). “Social media and the organization of collective action: Using Twitter to explore the ecologies of two climate change protests”. Communication review, v. 14, n. 3, pp. 197-215.

Senbel, Maged; Ngo, Victor-Douglas; Blair, Erik (2014). “Social mobilization of climate change: University students conserving energy through multiple pathways for peer engagement”. Journal of environmental psychology, v. 38, pp. 84-93.

Serrano-Puche, Javier (2016). “Internet y emociones: nuevas tendencias en un campo de investigación emergente”. Comunicar, v. 24, n. 46, pp. 19-26.

Stier, Sebastian; Bleier, Arnim; Lietz, Haiko; Strohmaier, Markus (2018). “Election campaigning on social media: Politicians, audiences, and the mediation of political communication on Facebook and Twitter”. Political communication, v. 35, n. 1, pp. 50-74.

Tandoc, Edson C. Jr.; Eng, Nicolas (2017). “Climate change communication on Facebook, Twitter, Sina Weibo, and other social media platforms”. In: Oxford research encyclopedia of climate science.

Thomas, Emma; McGarty, Craig; Mavor, Kennth I. (2009). “Aligning identities, emotions, and beliefs to create commitment to sustainable social and political action”. Personality and social psychology review, v. 13, n. 3, pp. 194-218.

Thompson, Jessica; Schweizer, Sarah (2008). “The conventions of climate change communication”. In: Annual meeting of the NCA 94th annual convention, TBA, San Diego, 32 pp.

Valera-Ordaz, Lidia; Sørensen, Mads P. (2019). “Towards a European public sphere? A comparative study of the Facebook activities of Danish and Spanish members of the European Parliament”. El profesional de la información, v. 28, n. 6, e280611.

Veltri, Giuseppe-Alessandro (2013). “Microblogging and nanotweets: Nanotechnology on Twitter”. Public understanding of science, v. 22, n. 7, pp. 832-849.

Wibeck, Victoria (2014). “Enhancing learning, communication and public engagement about climate change - Some lessons from recent literature”. Environmental education research, v. 20, n. 3, pp. 387-411.

Williams, Hywel; McMurray, James R.; Kurz, Tim; Lambert, F. Hugo (2015). “Network analysis reveals open forums and echo chambers in social media discussions of climate change”. Global environmental change, v. 32, pp. 126-138.

Zumárraga-Espinosa, Marcos; Silva-Valdivieso, Laura; Trujillo-Sánchez, Andrea (2020). “Determinantes del uso político de Facebook en Ecuador: actitudes, reclutamiento y emociones”. América Latina hoy, v. 8, pp. 79-102.



Cómo citar

De-Lara, A., Erviti, M.-C., & León, B. (2022). Communication strategies in the climate change debate on Facebook. Discourse on the Madrid Climate Summit (COP 25). Profesional De La Información, 31(2).



Artículos de investigación / Research articles


La descarga de datos todavía no está disponible.


Cargando métricas ...