CliSAP successfully finished in 2018. Climate research continues in the Cluster of Excellence "CLICCS".

Down to Earth

The UN climate summits are international public events which receive intense media coverage. In our project "Down to Earth", we analyse how news from the UN climate conference in Paris (2015) reaches and affects citizens. The project consists of two related studies with different methodological approaches: one is an online panel survey, the other combines communication diaries with focus group interviews.

  1. Quantitative online panel survey: Exploring and explaining the changes in knowledge and attitudes towards climate politics

The three-wave panel survey analyzes whether, how and why peoples’ knowledge and attitudes towards climate politics change during the climate summit. The online panel survey includes 1121 respondents from Germany in the final sample; the sample was quoted representative for age, education and sex.

  1. Communication Diaries and focus groups: Summit news in daily life

This qualitative part of the study combines digital communication diaries with focus group interviews in the city (Hamburg) and in the country (Otterndorf/Lower Saxony). The questions under study are with which media content about the climate summit people come into contact, how they perceive this content and how geographical factors influence the engagement with news from the climate conference.

Further information about the project can be found on our site.

Duration: since summer 2015
Funding: CliSAP/UHH
Contributions: Fenja De Silva-Schmidt and Imke Hoppe (University of Hamburg; communication diaries and focus groups); Josephine Schmitt (University of Cologne) and Dorothee Arlt (University of Bern; quantitative survey); Michael Brüggemann (project leadership)



  • Schmitt, Josephine B./De Silva-Schmidt, Fenja/Arlt, Dorothee/Hoppe, Imke/Brüggemann, Michael (2017): Gut, dass wir drüber gesprochen haben? Die Bedeutung interpersonaler Kommunikation für die Beziehung von Vertrauen in klimabezogene Informationen und kollektive Wirksamkeitsüberzeugungen im Hinblick auf Klimaschutz. Jahrestagung der Fachgruppe Rezeptions- und Wirkungsforschung in der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Publizistik und Kommunikationswissenschaft (DGPuK), Erfurt, 27. Januar 2017.
  • De Silva-Schmidt, Fenja/Brüggemann, Michael/Hoppe, Imke/Arlt, Dorothee/Schmitt, Josephine B. (2016): From weather forecast to climate conference – influencing factors on interpersonal communication about climate change, 6th European Communication Conference, Prag, 12. November 2016.