From photos to video — 10 principles to communicate climate change

May 14, 2019

What comes to mind when you think about climate change?

Polar bears perhaps? Melting ice caps? But do these images make climate change feel relevant to your life? Do they motivate you to take action? Research indicates that for most audiences these images have the opposite effect.

Together with the Climate Visuals team at UK-based Climate Outreach, Resource Media has sifted through an ever-growing body of research to help point climate communicators to the most effective, powerful visuals around climate change that resonate with global audiences. For example, in today’s crowded, competitive communications landscape it’s essential for organizations to incorporate images that show real people and the experiences they have lived. It’s these types of images and others that help evoke an emotional reaction or connection to a topic that typically feels remote and far in the future. Visuals that connect us to one another by adhering to our universally-held values like family, the environment and health are the images that will captivate audiences.

Resource Media and Climate Outreach have laid out 10 visual storytelling principles to keep in mind when selecting climate change visuals. Please enjoy our video and be sure to download our tipsheet: 10 Principles to Communicate Climate Change.

Many thanks to Benjamin Drummond and Sara Joy Steele for climate video footage. More information at

And special thanks to EarthCorps, Ocean Conservancy and Restore America’s Estuaries.

Marcela Gara Garcia-Huidobro