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What do we mean by ‘climate awareness’?

The CAPS project is all about ‘climate awareness’ – but what exactly is this?


There are several fields where this can be raised – for example, in sport:

Gimson and Burnet took to the Irish Sea on Tuesday with the aim of raising awareness of the climate crisis and the problems of environmental degradation in maritime travel, hoping to issue a wake-up call to the industry.

Proud Gimson and Burnet smash world record in climate awareness campaign | Team GB

There are other actions – specifically by activists – which raise awareness:

Although Greta Thunberg has not devised any specific environmental strategies, she is credited with raising public awareness of climate change across the world, especially amongst young people. Broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough told her: “You have aroused the world. I’m very grateful to you.”

Greta Thunberg: Who is the climate activist and what has she achieved? – BBC News

Some activists will also raise some people’s hackles: 

Just Stop Oil activist arrested after spraying the University of Exeter orange – Devon Live

Awareness of issues around climate are being raised everywhere – from Singapore:

Design agency Kinetic Singapore created the School of Tomorrow exhibition to showcase their innovative approach in addressing climate crisis awareness.

Climate Crisis Awareness Exhibitions : school of tomorrow

… to the UAE, with Dubai holding the upcoming COP28

UAE agrees new climate action education partnerships

… to Nigeria, with an innovative way to engage young people:

NGO launches card game to boost awareness on climate change

But it’s also about raising awareness of very tricky issues – such as climate refugees:

As our planet warms, we’re experiencing more frequent and severe weather events, rising sea levels, prolonged droughts, and altered ecosystems. These environmental shifts directly affect people’s livelihoods by destroying crops and depleting water sources. They make once-inhabitable areas uninhabitable... it’s predicted that by 2050 up to 86 million Africans will migrate within their own countries due to weather shocks. But some will cross borders, triggering the need for international protection.

Awareness of climate refugees is growing. Full recognition is needed | African Arguments


However, it’s rather difficult to actually get a definition of what we mean by ‘climate awareness’:

The most straightforward definition of environmental awareness is understanding the environment, how human behavior impacts the environment and the importance of protecting the environment.

Implementing Environmental Awareness Practices in the Workplace – Fair360

Here’s an appreciation of the differences:

Environmental awareness and climate change awareness are crucial to promoting eco-friendly behavior among individuals. Researchers consider environmental awareness similar to climate change awareness, while both concepts are different by definition. For instance, environmental awareness refers to the awareness about the natural environment, i.e.; land, water, or similar natural resources, while climate change awareness refers to the awareness about climate issues, i.e.; greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions or similar sources of environmental pollution. 

Sustainability | Environmental Awareness and Air Quality: The Mediating Role of Environmental Protective Behaviors

Finally, though, it might help to have some clear definitions of the terms invovled:

Knowing the origins and debates around these terms can help us to understand our current context and equip us to speak with accuracy and purpose about our changing climate. Here we explore how climate change definitions have formed and shifted over time, helping to clarify the science, and pointing to some of the other key themes surrounding the topic today.

Charity Digital – Topics – Climate change: exploring definitions