" class="no-js "lang="en-US"> Media coverage of climate finance and ESG surging 50% annually
Thursday, June 13, 2024

Media coverage of climate finance and ESG surging 50% annually – Cognito report

Media coverage of climate transition, sustainable finance and ESG is soaring, while pressure builds for financial institutions to communicate better on tangible corporate action behind climate transition and the drive to net zero. These were some of the key findings in a report released today by Cognito, the specialist communication and marketing agency.

The report found mentions of ESG and sustainable finance grew over 50% in major media outlets in 2021 over the previous year. Mentions of ‘climate transition’ however rose much faster – 135% – over the same period, with particularly large increases in relation to the banking, insurance and energy sectors.

Cognito also examined how press coverage of the main solutions driving the net zero transition has changed. Coverage of most of the 11 solutions studied – ranging from carbon allowances and offsets to hydrogen – rose by more than 50%. In 2020, some media outlets only wrote about two of these solutions, whereas in 2021 most were reporting consistently across all 11 climate solutions.

Solutions seeing the biggest increase in coverage included carbon allowances and offsets (+378%); natural capital (+113%) and hydrogen (+68%). Publications with the greatest increase in climate transition solutions coverage included Bloomberg (+228%), South China Morning Post (+330%), and the Financial Times (+40%), while coverage in the Wall Street Journal was flat.

Charlie Morrow, Director at Cognito and Sustainability Practice Leader, and report co-author, said: “Our research shows that media attention on climate transition has reached a new level, and is still increasing. With more coverage comes more noise, but we see an opening for companies and institutions to tell increasingly granular and authentic stories about their role in the transition.”

“We heard time and time again during our research about the challenges of reporting and communicating stories on the green transition. This report is designed as a guide for creating the dialogue that leads to meaningful change in the financial industry and beyond,” added Jon Schubin, Director in Cognito’s London office and report co-author.

In the report, entitled “The communications of climate transition – the signal and the noise,”

Cognito analysed over 25,000 articles from 20 major media publications and interviewed over 40 reporters, PR professionals and business leads. The full report, which includes recommendations for communications executives, is available at: https://www.cognitomedia.com/our-thinking/communications-climate-transition

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