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Wojcik, Alice, 2020. How do UK politicians respond to the climate emergency? : a critical discourse analysis of the Party Leaders’ Climate Debate. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Urban and Rural Development



Climate change has become a significant political priority in modern day election campaigns in the United Kingdom. Environmental issues are being discussed more openly and directly within society. But how do politicians respond to the climate emergency? How do they communicate their political promises to the public on such a complex and multifaceted issue?

This research study analysed the discourse that is created between the interaction of the Channel 4 News presenter and five political party leaders during the first ever Party Leaders’ Climate Debate. A Critical Discourse Analysis inspired by Norman Fairclough’s framework was conducted to provide an insight into how party leaders present their rationale for what actions they believe are needed to address environmental issues. By using this Critical Discourse Analysis framework, the research showed how the leaders’ constructed their responses to questions about climate change by protecting their party values, connecting economics with the environment in a positive way and reproducing mainstream media and political discourses. The leaders also produced a patriotic tone within their responses, which could reflect the societal attitudes at the time of the debate. The responses were ambiguous when it came to environmental responsibility, which highlighted the importance of transparency on this topic in the field of politics. By looking at how the party leaders communicate on the topic of climate change, this research study provides an insight into what solutions the leaders believe are needed to help alleviate the global environmental issues that we are facing today.

Main title:How do UK politicians respond to the climate emergency?
Subtitle:a critical discourse analysis of the Party Leaders’ Climate Debate
Authors:Wojcik, Alice
Supervisor:Bergeå, Hanna
Examiner:Westberg, Lotten
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2020
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:NM026 Environmental communication and management - Master's programme
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Keywords:critical discourse analysis, political debate, Channel 4 news, media analysis, environment, climate change
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Nature conservation and land resources
Social sciences, humanities and education
Deposited On:08 Jul 2020 13:31
Metadata Last Modified:09 Jul 2020 01:16

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