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date: 14 December 2018

Climate Change Communication in Israel

This is an advance summary of a forthcoming article in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Climate Science. Please check back later for the full article.

Climate change communication in Israel is embedded primarily in environmental communication and less in science communication. This form of communication is considered low risk compared to the war and terrorism that are part of everyday life in Israel.

Only in the 1970s did environmental communication emerge in various media channels and on the public agenda, while climate change communication has slowly begun to gain salience only in the last decade.

Mass media coverage of climate change in Israel is generally quite low compared to other developed countries in the West, with the new media channels partially used by interested nongovernmental organizations and individual activists. It seems the media still give voice to skeptics and are reluctant to give more salience because of the cross-business ownership of the media, mainly newspapers, television, and websites.

From time to time, media events on climate change, organized by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and world summits that have political interests, serve to increase coverage and raise public interest. As in other countries, coverage is usually local rather than global, even though climate change is clearly a global problem.

How effective is climate change communication in Israel? Research has only partially answered this question. It seems that the legacy of low media coverage contributes to the weak salience of climate change on the government and public agenda. Moreover, the atmosphere of uncertain risks and outcomes for Israel has not created a climate of urgency for policy makers.